Cognitive Systems 300 Labs


COGS 300: Understanding and Designing Cognitive Systems, a core course of the Cognitive Systems program, centers around the “theory and methods for integrating diverse disciplinary content in cognitive systems”.
The course is twofold: Lectures that touch on theories from Physical Symbol Systems (PSS) to Connectionism to Embodied Cognition; and hands-on Labs where students use Unity and C# to explore these concepts from an intro to Unity to designing a Robot using Machine Learning for a tournament. COGS combines Philosophy, Linguistics, Psychology, and Computer Science to explore cognitive agents and their environments, both artificial and natural.


The goal of this project is to firstly identify areas of potential improvement within the Labs component of the course, secondly explore and experiment with these improvements, and thirdly implement them. The core problems: Closing the “non-CS gap” and engaging students with less programming experience, connection between lectures and labs, lack of clarity in the instructions, and technical difficulties with certain hardware and software.


Lab content is created in Unity 2020.3.40f1 and version controlled through GitHub. Lab instructions are currently hosted on UBC Blogs at Ideation and design is on Miro.


The current developments of the project span Lab Visuals (the creation of a storytelling theme and basic prototyping), Lab Functionality (exploring the initial development of changes to particular labs), Instructions (a proposal for changes), Coding Supports (the development of a Unity & C# reference sheet), Pedagogy and Structure (a proposal for changes), and User Research (reports with data and suggestions compiled from interviews, surveys, and lab visits).

The Team

Principal Investigator(s)

  • PI: Márton Sóskuthy, Associate Professor, Cognitive Systems Lecturer


  • Tania Khan, Project Lead, UX/UI Designer (September 2022 – April April 2023)
  • Reva Nambiar, UX/UI Designer (September 2022 – April 2023)
  • Victoria Lim, UX/UI Designer (January 2023 – April 2023)
  • Rutendo Musuka, Developer (January 2023 – April 2023)


  • Reid Patterson, Developer
  • Kyle Van Winkoop, Developer
  • Elizabeth Earle, Developer


  • Robert Shum, Staff Developer (September 2022 – April 2023)
  • Daniel Lindenberger, Emerging Media Mentor (September 2022 – April 2023)

Past Team Members

  • Rae Jourard, Project Lead (September 2022 – December 2022)
  • Elaine Shi, Developer (September 2022 – December 2022)
  • Kyle Brent, Volunteer (September 2022 – December 2022)


September 2022