Symbolic Systems & Engineering Degree
The observation that both human beings and computers can manipulate symbols lies at the heart of Symbolic Systems, an interdisciplinary program focusing on the relationship between natural and artificial systems that represent, process, and act on information. Computer programs, natural languages, the human mind, and the Internet embody concepts whose study forms the core of the Symbolic Systems curriculum, such as computation, representation, communication, and intelligence. A body of knowledge and theory has developed around these notions, from disciplines like philosophy, computer science, linguistics, psychology, statistics, neurobiology, and communication. Since the invention of computers, researchers have been working across these disciplines to study questions such as: in what ways are computers and computer languages like human beings and their languages; how can the interaction between people and computers be made easier and more beneficial?
The program strongly encourages all Engineering and Symbolic Systems students to gain experience in directed research by participating in faculty research projects or by pursuing independent study. In addition to the Symbolic Systems TRUe Program, customized missions are very common in this track.