MERCED, CA — The University of California, Merced, is quickly gaining international recognition in the cognitive science community because of its interdisciplinary approach to the study of thought and behavior. The Glushko-Samuelson Foundation has donated $50,000 to the UC Merced Cognitive Science Program to fund educational events and increase visibility on campus.
Last fall, Robert J. Glushko, president of the foundation and adjunct professor in the UC Berkeley School of Information, visited UC Merced as a guest speaker. Glushko met with cognitive science faculty members Teenie Matlock and Paul Maglio of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts and praised the university for its dedication to preparing young cognitive scientists for high-tech jobs and competitive graduate programs.
“I am very impressed with UC Merced’s vision for its cognitive science program and commitment to interdisciplinary training,” Glushko said. “It is training students to land real-world jobs, for instance, in high-tech companies, or to do state-of-the-art research in academia.”
The Glushko-Samuelson Foundation donation will fund student travel to the annual Cognitive Science Society meeting and award prizes for outstanding cognitive science student research. It will also support the Mind, Technology and Society talk series and establish the UC Merced Cognitive Science Visitor Program, which are intended to bring world-renowned cognitive scientists to the university each semester.
“This is the beginning of many wonderful opportunities for our students, and we are very grateful,” said Matlock, founding faculty member and co-chairwoman of the cognitive science group.
“The donation means a lot coming from Bob,” Maglio said. “He’s a pioneer in cognitive science and in document engineering, which applies cognitive science to business settings.”
UC Merced’s cognitive science program combines methods and approaches from philosophy, computer science, linguistics, neuroscience and psychology. Students can pursue a B.A., a B.S. or a minor in cognitive science. A Ph.D. program is in the planning process.