Ronald A. Rensink -- Teaching


I no longer teach courses, but I am still happy to mentor people interested in learning how to do research.  I believe the best way to learn to do research is by actually doing it:



- COGS 402, CPSC 366, CPSC 448, ISCI 448, PYSC 340, PSYC 366, PSYC 448, PSYC 449


I am willing to supervise directed-studies students (undergrad and otherwise) who are interested in the projects in the lab. Over the years, more than 150 students successfully completed projects for the courses listed above. And the vast majority had fun doing so, and learned a lot.



If you're interested in learning how to do research, or just in finding out whether you'd even like it, you might consider being a co-pilot or volunteer in my lab (Visual Cognition Lab).  Over the years, we've had over 200 student co-pilots and volunteers.  Many stayed on to become research assistants, and some even ended up as authors on research papers.  It's a great way to learn how to do research, have some fun, and make a few friends.


Note: Students from around the world are welcome to be part of this!  This can be a very good way to get research experience before going to grad school.  If your level of English is good enough, you can have an opportunity to work with a group of interesting people on important topics.



If interested in either of these, please contact me or the VCL lab manager (vclmanager{a t}



Previous courses include:

COGS 303 - Research Methods in Cognitive Systems


This course will teach you the general skills needed to do effective analysis and research in the constituent sciences of Cognitive Systems. It covers the principles common to all forms of investigative analysis and research. It connects these to the more specialized treatments found in specialized courses (e.g. statistics), and to ideas concerning the discovery and organization of knowledge (e.g., philosophy of science). The goal is to show you the process of doing science--to give you a feel for the methodologies used in different areas of research, and to see the commonalities in the ways they are applied. In addition, the course will connect to relevant knowledge of cognition itself, showing how the ways that we perceive and think affect the ways that we do research.


The course also includes development of "meta-skills" such as critical and generative thinking, and the basics of writing and giving presentations. These are important not only in scientific research and analytic investigation of various kinds, but also in many aspects of everyday life in the real world.   The methods and materials used are the topic of a paper in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications (education section) in March 2015 (pdf).



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Last updated 08 Aug 2021