Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science

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					The University of Edinburgh
College of Science and Engineering

Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science

                                                                                                                                The School of Informatics came top in the UK
What is Artificial                                           “Although AI involves some
                                                                                                                                in the last Research Assessment Exercise,
                                                             programming, it’s not programming
Intelligence?                                                for the sake of programming, it's
                                                                                                                                and received an ‘excellent’ rating in the latest
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the attempt to                                                                                  Teaching Quality Exercise. As well as a
build artificial systems that have intelligent               task oriented. AI has connections                                  thorough grounding in the fundamentals, we
behaviour. There are two main directions                     with many disciplines, and often                                   offer you a large range of specialist topics,
of research. One is to understand natural                    involves practical hands-on project                                and the opportunity to participate in leading-
intelligence by the use of computer models. The                                                                                 edge research projects. We have excellent
                                                             work. Some of the projects I’ve                                    and extensive facilities, both for computing
other provides techniques and technology for
building systems capable of intelligent decisions
                                                             done include: designing and                                        and for the related AI research activities, from
and actions. Thus AI is both a science and an                implementing genetic algorithms,                                   robotics to language analysis. We also have
engineering discipline. Applications of AI range             and a big group project on                                         many connections to users who require working
from ‘smart’ controllers for household devices,              building robots which have to                                      applications, and you will gain experience in
to computers that can converse in English,                                                                                      the skills necessary to transform ideas to real
                                                             sweep a mine field. One of the                                     systems.
play games, do intelligent web searches or act
as the brain of a robot. These are fascinating
                                                             big advantages of studying at
and challenging subjects for people with a                   Edinburgh is that you often find                                   What does the course involve?
wide range of interests, and the continuous                  yourself studying things that have                                 Our degrees are 4 years long and flexible in
expansion of AI in all areas of technology                   been invented by the person                                        structure (see sample curriculum overleaf).
means AI graduates are always in demand.                     lecturing it. If you’re looking for a                              There is also a possibility of direct second year
                                                                                                                                entry for qualified students.
AI has links with many other subjects including
                                                             core book in the field, it’s often
                                                             by an Edinburgh lecturer.”                                         In first year you will study a general course in
computer science, psychology, philosophy,                                                                                       Informatics that includes programming, logic,
engineering, and linguistics. Adopting a                     Fiona Love,                                                        the theory of computation, and the nature of
computational approach to understanding                      BSc Artificial Intelligence and Computer                           information processing. You will study two
human cognitive processes such as thought,                   Science student.                                                   other subjects in parallel. For most degrees
language and memory has emerged as a new                                                                                        this includes a Mathematics course tailored
field of study called Cognitive Science. This is                                                                                to the subject. For joint honours courses with
novel synthesis of experimental study of these               Why study these courses at                                         other Schools you will also study a first year
processes in nature, a theoretical framework                                                                                    course in this subject. For most degrees, your
drawn from the study of artificial computer                  Edinburgh?                                                         third subject choice can be from any in the
systems, and the use of computer software to                 Degrees in Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive
                                                                                                                                University, subject to availability.
build sophisticated models. It is thus closely               Science and Computational Linguistics are
connected to Artificial Intelligence, but with               offered by the School of Informatics, the                          In the second year you will have specific
a greater focus on understanding natural                     largest centre in Europe for the study of these                    Informatics courses that lay the foundations
systems.                                                     subjects. The University of Edinburgh was                          of Artificial Intelligence (such as reasoning,
                                                             one of the first places in the world to see the                    search, planning, inference learning, and
Another example area of special interest in AI is            potential of computers and to introduce the                        language processing), further courses in
Computational Linguistics, in which the aim                  study of Artificial Intelligence, and much of                      Mathematics or your joint degree subject, and
is to make computers both use and understand                 the fundamental work in this area was done                         the possibility to continue with an additional
everyday language, which could have                          at Edinburgh. It is still at the forefront of this                 subject.
revolutionary applications for human computer                field, so you will be taught by the researchers                    In the third and fourth year your studies will
interaction, mobile devices, and aids for                    who laid the foundations and are still making                      be focused on the discipline(s) of your chosen
translation or the visually impaired. It includes            key advances. The course content is regularly                      degree. You will choose 6-10 courses from the
mathematical approaches to linguistics, the use              reviewed to ensure our students learn about                        wide range we offer in Artificial Intelligence,
of computational models in linguistics, computer             current developments.                                              Cognitive Science and Computational
speech and language processing, and natural                                                                                     Linguistics (for example Automated Reasoning,
language engineering.                                                                                                           Genetic Algorithms and Genetic Programming,
                                                                                                                                Cognitive Modelling, Intelligent Autonomous
 Degrees in Science and Engineering                                                                                             Robotics or Machine Translation). In the third
                                                                                                                                year you will participate in several group
 BSc Honours in:                                          BEng Honours in:                                                      projects, and in the fourth year complete an
 Artificial Intelligence                                  Artificial Intelligence with Management
                                                                                                                                individual research project. Some examples
 Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science             Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering
                                                                                                                                of recent fourth-year projects include: bagpipe
 Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics
                                                          MInf (5-year Undergraduate Masters) in:                               music transcriber; detecting emotions in email
 Artificial Intelligence and Psychology
 Computational Linguistics                                Informatics                                                           text; face detection; mimicking the visual
                                                                                                                                pathway; extending a geometric theorem
 MA Honours in:                                           Degrees in Humanities and Social Sciences                             prover; and star/galaxy classification.
 Artificial Intelligence and Philosophy
 Cognitive Science
                                                          MA Honours in:
                                                          Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence                               For more detailed information on degree
                                                                                                                                structure and content, please see table overleaf
                 For more information on the new MInf Informatics degree log onto:                             or:
                 See also separate sheets on Computer Science, Linguistics and Software Engineering.

                                       The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336
Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science

What sort of teaching and                            Are there any opportunities                            society, such as economics, entertainment,
                                                                                                            user-friendly technology, mobile systems,
assessment methods are used?                         to study abroad?                                       manufacturing, health, to name but a few. And
You will be taught by a mixture of lectures,         The School of Informatics encourages students          Edinburgh graduates are very highly regarded
tutorials, practical classes and projects.           to consider the possibility of spending one            by employers, so the choice is yours!
Lectures enable an efficient transfer of             year of their undergraduate degree course
                                                                                                            In a recent survey of first destinations carried
information from staff to students, and usually      (typically the third) at a university in another
                                                                                                            out by the University’s Careers Service,
include demonstrations of running systems            country. We believe this will help you learn
                                                                                                            over 90% of Informatics graduates were
and discussion of extended examples, to              a new language and open new employment
                                                                                                            in employment and a further 7% went into
complement the presentation of theoretical           markets for you. The School has some specific
                                                                                                            further study. Employers included: Cadence,
ideas. Tutorials in small groups (typically 8-12     exchange schemes with foreign universities,
                                                                                                            Civil Service Fast Track, Ingenico Fortronic,
students) offer the opportunity to ask questions     but we will consider any other university you
                                                                                                            Shell International, VIS Entertainment, Credit
and receive personalised explanations. We            wish to attend, as long as certain curriculum
                                                                                                            Suisse First Boston, Citigroup, and the British
recognise that understanding and skills in           requirements are met.
                                                                                                            Council. Some graduates have set up their own
Artificial Intelligence are often best acquired
by doing, and hence throughout the course
you will have practical classes and project
                                                     Are there any links with
work to complete. You will thus develop your         industry or commerce?                                  What are admissions tutors
analytical and problem-solving skills, be trained    The School of Informatics has many links with
in good practice in programming, and learn to        industry, stemming from its research work. The
                                                                                                            looking for?
                                                                                                            The entrance requirements for Artificial
present your work in written reports and verbal      Scottish economy boasts a strong IT sector,
                                                                                                            Intelligence and Cognitive Science degrees
presentations. Assessment is by a mixture of         with many companies located a short distance
                                                                                                            can be found in the current edition of the
examinations and coursework.                         away from Edinburgh. These companies
                                                                                                            Undergraduate Prospectus. The simple
                                                     sponsor scholarships, work placements and
Typically, in the first two years, your week will                                                           rule is that we do require Higher or A-Level
                                                     prizes, and offer jobs to our students.
contain around 20 timetabled hours of lectures,                                                             Mathematics. We do not generally expect or
tutorials and practicals, and you will need about                                                           require prior study of computer science or
15 to 20 hours private study to consolidate the      Are there any bursaries or                             related topics; it is more important that you
material from lectures, prepare for exams, and
to work individually on tutorial and practical
                                                     scholarships available?                                have an interest in this area, and the ability to
                                                                                                            think logically and creatively.
                                                     The School of Informatics awards merit
assignments. In later years the balance tips         scholarships (i.e. based on your course                If you meet the entry requirements, you are
more towards private study (e.g. with 10 to 15       performance). The scholarships are sponsored           likely to be made an offer. Well qualified
timetabled hours per week) as you develop            by Barclay’s Capital, IBM, KAL and MYSIS. We           students may also be offered the possibility of
independence in thinking and working. You will       also have paid work placements sponsored by            direct second year entry. You will be invited to
have individual supervision for your final year      IBM and Sun Microsystems. In addition, there           visit us and you will have a one-to-one informal
project.                                             are prizes sponsored by Agilent Technologies,          chat with one of our members of staff.
The School of Informatics provides a number          The British Computer Society, Citigroup,
of support mechanisms to enhance your                Microsoft, Google, Barclays Capital, Unilever,
                                                     Xerox, Real Time Engineering and Sun
                                                                                                            How do I find more?
learning, organised by the Informatics Teaching                                                             Visit our website:
Organisation (ITO). Each student is assigned         Microsystems. The University has a range of
a Director of Studies who oversees their             additional support schemes.                            Or contact:
progress and advises on course choices.
Course lecturers can be approached outside           What can I do after my                                 Informatics Teaching Organisation (SRA)
                                                                                                            School of Informatics
the lecture times to answer questions, and
maintain a mailing list or news group to inform      degree?                                                The University of Edinburgh
and support the students on the course each          Studies indicate that demand for graduates             Appleton Tower
year. Course materials, including lecture notes,     will outstrip supply over the next ten years.          Crichton Street
assignment details, and past exam papers             Computers are now ubiquitous in modern                 Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
and solutions, are always available online. We       life. The most interesting - and best-paid -
                                                                                                            Telephone: 0131 650 9970
also have a student-led peer-support system          opportunities in the future are open to those
called ‘Cascade’, in which experienced students      who really know about computing, software and
                                                                                                                                                   (May 2009)
offer an advice service to new students with         information systems. Graduates with degrees in                                                             Printed on recycled paper for Student Recruitment and Admissions –

problems or questions.                               Artificial Intelligence have excellent prospects
                                                     of employment, in fields that will shape our

Typical degree curriculum: BSc Honours in Artificial Intelligence and Psychology
  Year of study                            Curriculum                                                               Topics

  1st year           Informatics              Psychology                 Course of                Computation; logic; data; programming; cognitive
                                                                         your choice              psychology; learning perception; research methods.

  2nd year           Informatics              Psychology                 Course of                Computer systems; algorithms and data structures; problem
                                                                         your choice              solving, learning and planning; neuropsychology;
                                                                                                  socio-biology; statistics
  3rd year           Artificial Intelligence and Psychology Honours courses and projects

  4th year           Artificial Intelligence and Psychology Honours courses and projects
                     including a major practical project on which you will write a dissertation

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this leaflet at the time of going to press. However, it will not form part of a contract between the
University and a student or applicant and must be read in conjunction with the Terms and Conditions of Admission set out in the Undergraduate Prospectus.