IPAM is offering a graduate summer school program called: “Probabilistic Models of Cognition: The Mathematics of Mind” during July 9 – 27, 2007. More information is available at http://ipam.ucla.edu/programs/gss2007/

According to that link and quote:

“Probabilistic Models of Cognition: The Mathematics of Mind” will involve leaders from Cognitive Science and experts from Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics, who are interested in making bridges to Cognitive Science. The goal is to develop a common mathematical framework for all aspects of cognition, and review how it explains empirical phenomena in the major areas of cognitive science – including vision, memory, reasoning, learning, planning, and language. The summer school is motivated by recent advances which offer the promise of modeling human cognition mathematically. These advances have occurred largely because the mathematical and computational tools developed for designing artificial systems are beginning to make an impact on theoretical and empirical work in Cognitive Science. In turn, Cognitive Science offers an enormous range of complex problems which challenge and test these theories.

The main theoretical theme of the summer school is to model cognitive abilities as sophisticated forms of probabilistic inference. The approach is “sophisticated” in at least three respects. First, the knowledge and beliefs of cognitive agents are modeled using sophisticated probability distributions defined over structured relational systems, such as graphs and generative grammars. Second, the learning and reasoning processes of cognitive agents are modeled using advanced mathematical techniques from statistical estimation, statistical physics, and stochastic differential equations. Third, the decision making processes of agents are modeled using techniques from decision theory and game theory.

The summer school is intended for graduate students and postdocs, as well as more senior researchers interested in focusing their efforts on these mathematical challenges and crucial applications.

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