Cognitive Science 102b

Cognitive Ethnography

Winter 2011

Assignment Schedule Project Guidelines


Professor Edwin Hutchins
CSB Room 175 tel: 858-534-1134; fax: 858-822-2476
Office Hr: Thursday 1:30 - 2:30


Nancy Renner
Office Hr: Tu 10 - 11; 2 - 3 CSB 231

Carson Dance
Office Hr: W 11:30 - 12:30; Th 4 - 5; SSRB 235


Taylor Scott
Office Hr: CSB 114, Tu 2 - 3; Th 3 - 4

Mikhail Stal
Office Hr: CSB 114, W 11 - 12; M 11 - 12

Course Reading package is available from University Readers. You can order it at:

Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00 am until12:20 am in Pepper Canyon Hall Rm. 106

The main goal of this course is to equip students with the methodological tools required to understand the nature of cognitive processes in everyday activities. Students will observe and document cognition in real-world settings. The course also treats a number of theoretical issues including

  • how culture constructs the patterns of our activity and the meanings we attach to events
  • how the organization of the environment for action facilitates or interferes with cognitive work in general and information-based tasks in particular
  • how knowledge is created in social institutions and how humans are made smart by the use of artifacts and participation in social groups.

The required work for this course includes attendance at lectures, a set of readings, periodic quizzes on the readings, and the completion of a number of projects using the Calibrated Peer Review system ( Please consult the schedule of lecture topics, reading assignments, and project due dates. The projects will give you a chance to make careful observations in the real world.