BCSC 153: Syllabus

Spring 2022

Time & Location

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 – 1:45pm
Room: Hutchison 140 (class temporarily meets on Zoom until further notice)


Instructor: Dr. Chung-Lin Martin Yang
Virtual office Hours: 3 - 4pm Tue/Thu (Zoom)

Graduate TA: Shizhao Liu ( )
Virtual Office Hours: 9:30-10:30am Wed

Graduate TA: Bikash Sahoo ( )
Virtual Office Hours: 3-4pm Mon

Undergraduate TA: Madison Ireland ( )
Virtual Office Hours: 1-2pm Wed

(All office hours are held virtually until further notice.)

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 super friendly and eager 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 (14.5%): Active participation in discussions and class activities are expected, some of which may require you to turn in a summary of group discussion. The initial class survey is worth 2%. Each graded discussion (only graded as complete/incomplete) is worth 2.5% of the course grade. There will be 5 graded discussions throughout the semester. Late submissions won’t be accepted unless you have medical or family emergencies.
  2. Quizzes (18%): Four in-class/closed-book quizzes will be administered on Blackboard (in person). The lowest one will be dropped, so each quiz is worth 6% of the course grade. Each quiz contains 10 multiple-choice/True-False questions.
  3. Exams: Exam 1 (22.5%), Exam 2 (22.5%) and Final (22.5%): Two closed-book midterms and a final exam will be administered in class (in person). 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, please let us know. We will do our best to help you.
  3. 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.
  4. Please keep track of your own grades throughout the semester and let us know if you have any questions.
  5. Email communication: when you email me, please put the course number (BCS153) in the subject line so that I know which class you’re in
  6. COVID-related policy:
    1. Per university policy, when class is in person, eating is NOT permitted, and mask must be properly worn (covering both nose and mouth) at all times in the classroom. Drinking, although allowed, should be kept to a minimum. These requirements help protect everyone in the class. A COVID-19 Concern Report will be filed for anyone who fails to comply with these requirements, which can result in disciplinary actions through the Student Code of Conduct.
    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


  1. If you have any questions about the grades you received, please go to one of the TAs first.
  2. The final grades will be based upon the following scale:
    • 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