McMaster hosts fifth annual Symposium on Education and Cognition

August 28, 2017

Some of North America’s top experts in memory and learning gathered at McMaster recently for the fifth annual McMaster Symposium on Education & Cognition.

Organized by award-winning Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour educator and researcher Joe Kim, the two-day conference brought together educators, cognitive scientists and policymakers to explore how cognitive science can be applied to educational policy and instructional design.

This year’s symposium covered topics such as using social media as a teaching tool, creating effective tests, academic productivity and note-taking.

The University of California at San Diego’s Terry Sejnowski gave the conference’s keynote public lecture, titled “The Age of Information: Preparing for the Tsunami.”

The theoretical physicist and pioneer in the neural network revolution was among the first to develop a new computation approach to understanding brain function. His talk focused on the effects the Information Age will have on human cognition, jobs, education and personal lives.

Sejnowski compared the effects of the information age to that of the Industrial Revolution, but with a much more rapid timetable.

He is the only living person to be a member of the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine.

Other speakers included researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, Indiana University and the University of Massachusetts Lowell as well as Barbara Oakley, McMaster’s Ramón y Cajal Distinguished Scholar of Global Digital Learning.