Board of Governors approves new Institute of Cognitive Science

Carleton is giving its Cognitive Science program a new home.

The decision to establish an Institute of Cognitive Science will bring individual identity and visibility to the only program of its kind in Canada.

Since the introduction of the undergraduate program in 1994, and graduate program in 1997, Cognitive Science has been operating under the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies. Now, because of its growing strength and success, the program is being rewarded with an institute of its own.

“The Cognitive Science program has proved itself in the quality of academic staff and students and we want to recognize this,” says Mike Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. “It has reached a point where it is now attracting very outstanding students.”

The new Institute will provide a sense of belonging for the staff and students, uniting them with an official name and their own academic unit. It will also open an avenue of promotion and visibility for both the graduate and undergraduate programs.

“Cognitive Science is one of the things that distinguishes academic programs at Carleton,” says Smith. “The Institute will make that message clear.”

Currently 25 students are enrolled in the Cognitive Science doctoral program. Three students have graduated, and the first two won Senate medals for excellence, while all three were offered more than one postdoctoral scholarship.

“The program is already very strong,” says Jo-Anne LeFevre, Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Cognitive Science. “The Institute gives us the impetus to continue building and gain more interest.”

From an undergraduate perspective, the presence of an established name will make student recruitment considerably easier. The program’s current lack of independence makes it difficult for prospective students who are interested in cognitive science to find the information they need.

The new Institute will also make things easier for the nine faculty members cross-appointed to Cognitive Science, both in providing them with a clearer identity and by enabling them to provide a more concrete proposal when seeking out research funding.

According to LeFevre, this new sense of identity for both faculty and students is the most important aspect of the Institute.

From – http://www.now.carleton.ca/2004-04/306.htm

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