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  Graduate School–New Brunswick 2010–2012 Programs, Faculty, and Courses Perceptual Science Program  


The core curriculum in perceptual science ( offers training in multidisciplinary approaches to modern perceptual science and integrating computational techniques with the study of human perception. The curriculum augments training in the student's home degree program with additional foundational courses, laboratory courses, and interdisciplinary research. Students are typically enrolled in doctoral programs in psychology, computer science, biomedical engineering, computer engineering, and anthropology. However, students from any graduate program related to perceptual science may participate. The core curriculum in perceptual science, developed with the support of an IGERT grant from the National Science Foundation, addresses the shared goal of computer scientists, cognitive scientists, and engineers to develop perceptual models that will both enhance our understanding of human perception and guide the development of modern perceptual technologies. These technologies include sophisticated systems for automated recognition of images, objects, faces, and scenes, as well as intelligent devices, computer interfaces, and virtual environments that must be used by people to carry out a variety of real-world tasks. Students are prepared for research careers in perceptual science in academic, industrial, or government settings.
Years 1 and 2 of the core curriculum establish foundational knowledge, beginning with a bootstrapping course in Computational Thinking (Computer Science 503) for noncomputer science majors, followed by a one-semester course in the fundamentals of Computational Modeling (Computer Science 504) for all students. Courses in Sensation and Perception (Psychology 514) and Computational Perception (Psychology 515), taken by all students, teach properties and models of human perception, emphasizing the perception of color, shape, depth, texture, surfaces, and scenes, along with their neurophysiological underpinnings. The foundational courses are supplemented by electives in computer science, psychology, cognitive science, mathematics, and statistics, with individual programs of study developed to allow students to concurrently meet course requirements of their degree programs. Year 3 includes a laboratory sequence (Perceptual Science 521, 522) that provides opportunities for hands-on interdisciplinary projects in a supervised setting, as well as an optional external internship in local industry, both designed to prepare students for interdisciplinary thesis research co-advised by faculty specialists in human perception and computational modeling. Research is carried out in state-of-the-art laboratories where students will work with faculty advisers from different disciplines to pursue research from multiple perspectives. Key research topics include: animate motion; multisensory integration; stereoscopic vision; perception of shape and objects; eye movements; attention; visual communication; computational depiction; machine and human learning; and human-computer interaction and design.

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