Graduate Education

Interdisciplinary Academic Training in the Science of Intelligence

Research on intelligence integrates knowledge from many disciplines. The study of computational models draws upon mathematics, physics, and computer science. Understanding how these computations are carried out in the brain and form the basis of intelligent human behavior relies upon empirical methods in neuroscience and cognitive science. Graduate programs at CBMM partner institutions offer many courses in neuroscience, cognitive science, and computer science that provide disciplinary training for graduate research. Additional courses taught by CBMM faculty give students from diverse backgrounds a shared interdisciplinary underpinning for studying intelligence. Courses emphasize current research on topics such as computational theories of human cognition and its development focused on probabilistic models of learning and inference; models for vision and learning in computers and neural circuits; and computational and biological mechanisms underlying tasks such as visual object recognition. Materials for many of these courses are available online.

Integrative Research on Intelligence

CBMM graduate students engage in research that integrates knowledge across disciplines. Many students work on collaborative projects between faculty labs that combine theoretical and empirical methods or bridge multiple domains such as vision, language, action, planning, and social intelligence. Through interactions with researchers at industrial partners, students experience the challenges of replicating intelligence in machines to solve real-world problems. To foster the cross-fertilization of ideas, graduate students present their work at weekly research meetings with CBMM faculty, postdocs, and students, and participate in the Brains, Minds and Machines seminar series and annual CBMM workshops and retreats.

Summer Course on Brains, Minds, and Machines

CBMM faculty offer an intensive three-week summer course for graduate students on Brains, Minds, and Machines, focused on the interdisciplinary science of intelligence. Lectures by CBMM faculty on the theoretical foundations, empirical methods, and intellectual thrusts of the CBMM research program are complemented with computer labs providing hands-on experience with computational models. Guided by faculty and postdocs, interdisciplinary teams of students collaborate on projects to develop ideas that emerge from the lectures. The summer course aims to cross-educate computer scientists, neuroscientists, and cognitive scientists to be future leaders in the science of intelligence.

Read more on the Summer 2014 course at MLB, Woods Hole >