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?

Symbolic Systems Forum


Machine Learning and Empiricism from the Lens of Silicon Valley

Zavain Dar ('10)
Lux Capital

Monday, December 3, 2018
12:30-1:20 pm
Building 460, Room 126 (Margaret Jacks Hall)

I look at how and where machine learning is deployed in practice, pulling lessons ...

Full Article
Posted by Admin 1 day, 16 hours ago

Please join us for a special lecture...

Research Paradigms in Artificial Intelligence

Stan Rosenschein

Symbolic Systems Program

Stanford University

Wednesday, November 14, 2018



Building 460, Room 126 (Margaret Jacks Hall)


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been much in the news of late, with reports of impressive technical ...

Full Article
Posted by Admin 6 days, 15 hours ago

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 ...

Full Article
Posted by Admin 4 years, 1 month ago
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