How can we model human task performance? How do our brains combine visual and auditory information? What is the ideal patient monitor for a tired emergency doctor?
The Master's degree programme in Computational Cognitive Science (CCS) focuses on cognitive (neuro)science and its applications. CCS provides you with insights into human cognition, language and the brain and teaches you to use this knowledge in applied settings, such as human-computer interaction and computerized learning tools. For example, by leveraging knowledge of human cognition, you can optimize how an Artificial Intelligence system communicates with the human user, develop virtual reality applications for education or develop simulation models of human task performance.
Two questions form the basis for this programme:
To answer these questions, you have to know how humans perform tasks and how this affects potential interactions. How do humans acquire new skills and how do they learn to adapt to a new task? In addition, it is important to think about how humans communicate and apply this to human-machine communication. Language is a natural way of human communication, and this may or may not be a good choice for communication with a machine, depending on the circumstances.
My job is as multifaceted as the programme is
'I got a job at the UMCG after writing a thesis on anaesthesia monitors. Anaesthesiologists view graphs on monitors during surgery. We wanted to develop a monitor that translates graphs into statistical patterns. It proved that anaesthesiologists cannot recognize these patterns. Maybe a computer can? Could a model predict what's going to happen next? This is the focus of my research.
I also analyse data for the anaesthesia department. There is too much data for the physicians to process. You need to find the right balance of drugs for each patient, which is why it is important that physicians can make good use of the available data. My job is as multifaceted and practical as the programme was. I get to do research and I’m also involved in various projects!’
It is good to see that as a student I can already play a role in research and business
The Master Human-Machine Communication appealed to me because of its combined practical and fundamental programme. By studying the human mind and formalizing theories in computer models, you can test theories on a lot of aspects relatively easy.
At the moment I work on a project to create a computer game in which players learn social skills. My role is to develop a digital teacher who can assess your level of skill for different training objectives and uses this to dynamically personalize the training. Besides the interesting topic of digital learning, the project is also very interesting as it is done together with a lot of companies. Knowing both some psychology and technology, helps me to play a bridging role between the different partners.