What is Symbolic Systems?

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The Symbolic Systems Program (SSP) at Stanford University focuses on computers and minds: artificial and natural systems that use symbols to communicate, and to represent information. SSP brings together students and faculty interested in different aspects of the human-computer relationship, including...

  • cognitive science: studying human intelligence, natural languages, and the brain as computational processes;
  • artificial intelligence: endowing computers with human-like behavior and understanding; and
  • human-computer interaction: designing computer software and interfaces that work well with human users.

Symbolic Systems' affiliated faculty come from several departments at Stanford, including Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology, Communication, Statistics, and Education. Our students are exposed to the tools of these disciplines -- formal methods, philosophical analysis, computer programming, and empirical research -- with the aim of being able to apply the appropriate tool(s) to a chosen area of specialization. SSP alumni are found in various occupations, including software design and applications, teaching and research, law, medicine, and public service.

Students: Check out the Symbolic Systems Society. The Society is a student-led group for SymSys students and those interested in symbolic systems. The Society hosts many events for students, including symposia, coffee chats, special dinners, field trips, and student-alum and student-faculty dinners.

What's New in Symbolic Systems?

The Symbol of the Year in 2018, as voted by Symbolic Systems Program affiliates, is...


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For the second year in a row, #MeToo united survivors of sexual violence speaking out within the movement founded by Tarana Burke. At first targeted primarily at gender-based workplace harassment and assaults committed by ...

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Office hours are designated times when Stanford students are invited to consult with Symbolic Systems Advising Fellows and Program Administrators.  If you are viewing this in the newsroll, click "Full Article" to see the complete list of office hours. Watch here for updates.


  • Sandhini Agarwal ('19, Learning), AF, Office ...

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Posted by Admin 4 years, 4 months ago
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