BCSC 153: Syllabus

Spring 2023

Time & Location

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 – 1:45pm
Room: Dewey 1101


Instructor: Dr. Chung-Lin Martin Yang
Office Hours (in person and Zoom): 2:30 - 3:30pm Mon/Wed

Graduate TA: Ruoyang Hu (
Office Hours: Fri 10-11

Undergraduate TAs:
Marissa Hendrickson ( )
Alyssa Porter () (grading and test proctoring only)

If you have any questions about the course materials or lecture, please do feel free to ask for clarification in class, ask us after class, email us, or come to our office hours. We are all friendly and happy to help!

Course Description

In this course we will further explore the study of mind. Topics to be covered include core issues in cognitive science, theoretical and philosophical perspectives, experimental, evolutionary and computational approach to the study of mind, metacognition, language, concepts, memory, attention, and cognitive neuroscience.

Readings are posted on Blackboard under “Reserves”. Please be sure to read them BEFORE each class. Announcements will also be made when new materials are posted.

This course follows the College credit hour policy for four-credit courses. This course meets twice weekly for 3 academic hours per week. The course also includes independent out-of-class assignments (complete the required readings) for at least 1 academic hour per week.

Course Requirements

  1. Participation/Discussions (23%): Active participation in discussions and class activities are expected. The survey at the beginning of the semester is worth 2%. Each graded discussion (only graded as complete/incomplete) is worth 3.5% of the course grade. There will be 7 discussions throughout the semester (but only 6 will be counted toward your final grades, meaning that you can miss one.). Late submissions won’t be graded/accepted (unless you requested special accommodations. See Class Policy #2 below).
  2. Quizzes (26%; 6.5% each): Four in-class/closed-book quizzes (multiple choice + T/F questions) will be administered on Blackboard (in person). The dates can be found in the course schedule below. Mark your calendar!
  3. Exams (51%): Three exams, including two closed-book midterms and a final exam, will be administered in class (in person). The lowest exam score will be dropped, so each exam is worth 25.5%. Study guides will be provided. The dates can be found in the class schedule below. These exams are NOT cumulative; however, given the interdisciplinary nature of cognitive science, understanding of the concepts learned earlier may be required for learning the new concepts.

Class Policies

  1. Academic misconduct
    All assignments, tests, and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester's Academic Honesty Policy and the Student Code of Conduct (PDF).
    Plagiarism, cheating, and any form of academic misconduct will be reported following the guidelines set by the University
    1. Proper use of the digital platforms (e.g., Blackboard, Poll Everywhere, and Zoom): please be respectful when you post your comments/questions online or respond to the polls and activities.
  2. Special accommodation: If you need special accommodation (e.g., medical or family emergencies, observance of religious holidays/events, etc.), please let us know as early as possible. We will do our best to accommodate! If you can’t take a test or submit an assignment on time for health reasons, documentations are typically required for make-ups or late submissions (except for COVID/flu-like symptoms. See below). Otherwise, late submissions won’t be accepted.
  3. COVID-related policy:
    1. Please follow the masking guidelines set by the University
    2. If you are not feeling well (even just with some mild symptoms), are waiting for COVID test results, have been in close contact with COVID patients, or need to take care of someone, just let me know by sending me an email. We can discuss how to make up your missed work. If you suspect that you might have COVID, please carefully follow the instructions and procedures to report to the UHS.
  4. Mobile devices
    Please silence your mobile devices. No cellphone/smartphone or any other entertainment devices are allowed while class is in session. Laptop/tablet use in class is allowed for note-taking and reading course materials only.
  5. Please keep track of your own grades throughout the semester and let us know if you have any questions.


  1. The final grades (rounded up to the nearest integer) will be based upon the following scale (Note that the total points shown on Blackboard are not weighted by each grading category):
    • A 93 -100
    • A- 90 - 92
    • B+ 87 - 89
    • B 84 – 86
    • B- 80 - 83
    • C+ 77 – 79
    • C 73 – 76
    • C- 70 – 72
    • D+ 67 – 69
    • D 63 – 66
    • D- 60 – 62
    • E below 60