The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur will soon launch a new Department of Cognitive Science. IIT-Kanpur claims to be the first among the IITs to explore transdisciplinary scientific research of the human mind and brain. Areas of research that the new department will focus on include consciousness studies, perception and action, decision-making and reasoning, language processing, social cognition, applied cognitive sciences (HMI/HCI, Education, Mental health), and robotics.
“This will go a long way in mapping traditional Indian knowledge and understanding of the human mind with futuristic technology,” the IIT said in an official statement. The Department of Cognitive Science will prepare students for careers in the fields of artificial intelligence, business, data analysis, government intelligence, healthcare, human performance, information processing, law, marketing, product design, and software design, the IIT said.
Prof Abhay Karandikar, director, IIT-Kanpur, said, “The new department will study the working of the human mind and mechanisms in the brain involved in mental processes and interface with departments such as the Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering (BSBE) on neuroscience-related areas. The new department will also work in collaboration with the Computer Sciences and Engineering department to develop new artificially intelligent and machine-learning interfaces.”
The institute has been running PhD and MS programs in Cognitive Sciences since as part of its Inter-Disciplinary Program (IDP) in Cognitive Science. The IDP sees transdisciplinary participation of faculty members from various departments including Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Biosciences and Biological Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering, and Department of Maths and Statistics.
“It is hoped that the formation of this new department will not only attract the brightest of minds from across the country and abroad, it will also provide a place for cutting edge research and teaching in the country, in consonance with the vision of National Education Policy 2020,” the official statement read.
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