Over the three weeks of the Brains, Minds, and Machines summer course, students engage in open-ended projects that provide an opportunity to explore course topics more deeply and apply new computational or empirical methods learned in the tutorials. This project experience is often cited by students as a highlight of the summer course.
While most students pursue individual projects, some work in small teams of 2 or 3 students, and all work closely with a faculty or TA advisor. Some projects explore computational models, either extensions to existing models or the design of new models, including the analysis of results from computer simulations. Other projects incorporate the analysis of data from behavioral, physiological, or fMRI experiments, considering new analysis methods or relating empirical results to model predictions. Some students design projects around their current research, although they are strongly encouraged to explore new problems and methods.
The project work culminates in an oral presentation to the Brains, Minds and Machines summer course community.
To facilitate the design of projects for the 2015 summer course, faculty instructors and teaching assistants generated initial broad project ideas in each of five topic areas:
- Development of intelligence
- Neural circuits for intelligence
- Visual intelligence
- Social intelligence
- Theories of intelligence
The 2015 Project Ideas Document (PDF) has brief summaries of project topics, with pointers to useful literature and other resources.