Computational Cognitive and Behavioural Science

Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science Group

Degree Programs

The AICS Group originated as the steering committee of the Flinders University Cognitive Science degree program. This collaboration has been valuable not only for the quality of the students it attracted and the graduates it produced, including 3 of our current postdoctoral fellows, but has also spawned a great many research collaborations and projects.

The original three-year Cognitive Science program included integrative topics (compulsory course components) at second and third year, with the aim of having representatives of the different Cognitive Science disciplines introduce the ideas, vocabulary, problems, perspectives and insights of each of the disciplines.  These lectures tended to be attended by as many staff as students, and were an opportunity for invigorating debate as well as exciting exploration of the great disciplinary divide. Undergraduate and postgraduate students often participated very knowledgeably in these debates, and the students that went through this program have become a very valuable resource for South Australia and beyond, with the top few students each year going on to Honours and PhDs in one or more of the component disciplines.

The field of Cognitive Science has however outgrown what can be dealt with in a three-year Bachelor of Science program, and Flinders teaching in this area been continued with the development of new Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psyc) and Bachelor of Computer Science degree programs, including the opportunity to undertake a combined Behavioural/Computer Science degree, with cognate majors covering Artificial Intelligence, Neuroscience and Psycholinguistics.

The research and teaching collaborations of the group have expanded to intersect two other interdisciplinary degree programs, in Biomedical Engineering and Robotics/Mechatronics Engineering, in this case having combined Bachelors/Masters degree options. Students from these programs can also undertake Honours and PhD projects with an Artificial Intelligence or Cognitive Science focus.

Prof. David Powers is one of the pioneers of Cognitive Science in Australia, and was appointed at Flinders to assist with the development of Cognitive Science here.  He can be contacted for information about both research and teaching in any of the interdisciplinary programs we run, including both graduate and undergraduate courses and PhD opportunities and scholarships.

Research Programs

The research programs of the group extend across Flinders University and beyond, and those located within the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics spread across all four of our research concentrations:

Many of the individual projects relate to strong foci in Assistive and Educational Technologies, and Artificial Intelligence and Language Technologies, where we jointly have strong expertise and capabilities across all of the following areas:


Relevant CSEM Courses and Topics

The following awards and topics link directly to the research of the AI and CogSci Group and final year projects are supervised for the courses shown (for further degree combinations see the individual course descriptions):

Bachelor of Computer Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology)/Bachelor of Computer Science
Bachelor of Engineering (Biomedical)
Bachelor of Engineering (Robotics)
Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours)
Bachelor of Information Technology (Digital Media) (Honours)
Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Master of Engineering (Biomedical)
Master of Engineering (Electronics)
COMP3722 Theory and Practice of Computation
COMP3742 Intelligent Systems
COMP3751 Interactive Computer Systems
COMP3752 Computer Game Development
COMP4712 Embodied Conversational Agents
COMP4715 Computational Intelligence
COMP4716 Information Retrieval and Text Processing
COMP4717 Mobile Application Development
ENGR3721 Signal Processing
ENGR3741 Physiological Measurement
ENGR3771 Robotic Systems
ENGR4722 Haptic Enabled Systems
ENGR4761 Image Processing

For More Information...

For more information on these programs, or if you're interested in joining the group, or enquiring about courses or scholarships, please contact Professor David Powers.



Classic Publications by Group members

David M. W. Powers and Christopher C. R. Turk (1989), Machine Learning of Natural Language, Springer-Verlag (NewYork/Berlin), ISBN 3-540-19557-2/0-387-19557-2

David M. W. Powers (1983), "Neurolinguistics and Psycholinguistics as a Basis for Computer Acquisition of Natural Language," SIGART 84, pp. 29-34


Representative Publications

Leibbrandt, Richard E. & Powers, David M.W. (2012). Robust Induction of Parts-of-Speech in Child-Directed Language by Co-Clustering of Words and Contexts. Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics.

Leibbrandt, Richard E. & Powers, David M.W. (2010). Frequent Frames as Cues to Part-of-Speech in Dutch: Why Filler Frequency Matters. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2680-2685.

Leibbrandt, Richard E. & Powers, David M.W.  (2008). Lexical category induction using lexically-specific templates. Supplement to Proceedings of the 32nd Boston University Conference on Language Development.

Powers, David M.W. (2002). "Robot babies: what can they teach us about language acquisition?" Invited chapter, J. Leather and J. Van Dam, eds The Ecology of Language Acquisition

Powers, David M. W. (2001), The Robot Baby meets the Intelligent Room, pp59-62, AAAI Spring Symposium on Learning Grounded Representations, Stanford USA.

Powers, David M. W. (1997), "Unsupervised learning of linguistic structure: an empirical evaluation", International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 2(1):91-131

Powers, David M. W. (1997) "Learning and Application of Differential Grammars", CoNLL97 88-96.

Powers, David M. W. (1997)  "Perceptual Foundations for Cognitive Linguistics", International Conference on Cognitive Linguistics, 173.


Computational Cognitive Science

Computational Cognitive Science is a new peer-reviewed, international and interdisciplinary journal that will be launched by Springer in early 2013 to provide a forum for cross-displinary research contributions and debate relating to all aspects of the computational modelling of cognitive theories, and the implementation of intelligent systems that implicitly or explicitly draw on or inform research across multiple cognitive science disciplines. Specific themes of interest include the acquisition of language and ontology, integrated models of sensory-motor perception and interaction, affect and emotion, gesture and expression, cognition and consciousness, and implemented or implementable systems based on computational or robotic models and cognitive or evolutionary theory.

Cognitive Science and Technology

Cognitive Science and Technology is a new book series to be launched by Springer next year. CS&T has a multidisciplinary focus that aims to bridge the social, behavioural and cognitive science disciplines and the intelligent systems, technology and engineering disciplines.  The series will have a particular focus on work that applies knowledge from cognitive science to the development of new technologies, or that develops intelligent technologies that are intended to model or support research in the cognitive sciences. 


Interest from potential authors, reviewers, editors or sponsors and other enquiries related to the CCS journal or the CS&T book series should be directed to Editor-in-Chief Professor David Powers.