Undergraduate Summer Workshop in Interdisciplinary Mind and Brain Studies at the University of Pennsylvania

The human capacity for complex language is unique within the animal kingdom, and psychologists have long appreciated how the languages we learn can shape our patterns of thought in subtle ways. Language science fosters collaboration between researchers in cognitive science, computer linguistics, psycholinguistics, and phonetics to drive research in language acquisition and use. This research aims to develop and improve language and speech technologies (e.g., automatic speech recognition, translation, and transcription). In addition, this research can develop computational tools to learn more about how the human brain works and how science understands social groups.

A related question at the interface of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities is whether an understanding of the mind at the individual level will lead to a deeper understanding of the behaviors of a group. Research about social behavior and decision-making provides an important source of insight into the philosophical questions of mind, identity, and social organization. The development of new analytical, computational, and experimental tools is enhancing our understandings of individuals, societies, and their creations. These newest scientific frontiers seek to understand the nature of human intelligence in its broadest sense.

In this year’s Undergraduate Summer Workshop, lectures will focus on Language Science and Technology (one week) and Social and Behavioral Science (one week). Social and Decision Science topics are likely to include cultural and evolutionary behavior, economic preferences and biases, social choices and decision-making, and reflective and intuitive thinking. Language Science topics may include how children learn the meanings of words and the grammar of their language, how language and dialects change over time, and how the mind represents language.

Summer Workshop participants will receive free room and board, plus a travel stipend.

As a participant, you can:

  • Hear lectures from distinguished researchers in social and decision sciences and language science and technology
  • Participate in labs and lab tours involving some of the latest technologies and research methods
  • Participate in panel discussions on the future of interdisciplinary mind and brain studies, as well as career and professional development in these fields.

You should apply if:

  • You have a strong interest in social and decision sciences and/or language science
  • You are currently an enrolled undergraduate at any university or college
  • You are thinking about applying to graduate school
  • You are available to attend the entire program


Relevant course experience is desired, but not required. Students from underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Non-US citizens are eligible for our program, but US visa regulations apply for all non-citizens.

Questions? Please e-mail us: IMBsummerworkshop@sas.upenn.edu

Click here to apply to the 2018 Workshop!

We require a resume, transcript, and short personal statement, as well as 2 letters of recommendation. Applicants are asked to contact their referees to request their letters of recommendation.

The deadline for applications and reference letters is March 1, 2018.

The IMB Summer Workshop is sponsored by MindCORE, Penn’s hub for the integrative study of the mind.

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