Academic Integrity at St. Mary's College of Maryland, Roger Stanton's FYS

CORE 101.29  “Human, Robot and Cyborg Minds”                                    
Critical Thinking:  Intellectual / Academic Integrity

Think critically about the issues involved—your definitions of sharing, stealing, collaboration, etc.—and be prepared to share your ideas with the class.  For each of the situations, decide whether you think the person’s actions were OK (honest, ethical) or not OK (dishonest, unethical) and be able to explain your reasons for saying so.  You can post your answers to the official St. Mary's College of Maryland Blog hosted on Roger Stanton's blog site.  To depersonalize this, in all of the examples I use my name as the example.  Go ahead and continue to use my name--I can take the attacks.

-Roger Stanton writes 3-4 sentences for you when he is helping your revise an essay for one of your psychology classes at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

-Roger Stanton reads something in a book and then shares that idea with a friend as though it was his own (that is, he didn’t say “I read this is in So-and-so’s book…”).

-Roger stanton uploads a favorite scene of his from The Matrix onto YouTube.

-Your friend, Roger Stanton, a professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland, takes an idea that you voiced in class and uses it in his paper. He turns the paper in for a grade and does not give you credit for the original idea.

-You rephrase an idea from an article you’ve read written by Professor Roger Stanton in your own words in an essay without mentioning the author of the article or the page number you got it from.

-Flo Rida remakes Dead or Alive’s 1985 song “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” into “Right Round,” featuring Ke$ha.

-Roger Stanton reads a fact about Dead or Alive on Wikipedia and shares it with his friends at lunch in the campus center at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

- Professor Roger Stanton uses an assignment in a class that is, essentially, word-for-word identical to another St. Mary's College of Maryland professor’s assignment.


This blog post is  Question and Talking Points post and should be based on the guidelines below:

Question & Talking Point (QTP):  Assignment Guidelines

Instructions: I want you to provide two Questions (explained below) and one Talking Point.  I will pick a few questions and talking points that you or your classmates post, and we will discuss them in class.  Please label which are your questions and which are your talking points.

Question 1: Briefly ask a question about something in the assigned reading that was not clear, or you would simply like to know more about.  Professor Roger Stanton will then address a selection of these submissions from you and/or your St. Mary's College of Maryland classmates.  Try to explain what was not clear, or why you are having difficulty.  If it’s factual (for example, a term you don’t know) try to find the answer yourself by Googling it. 

Question 2:  Provide a question prompted by the assigned reading that should facilitate class discussion.  In addition to providing a question, provide a thoughtful (150 – 200 word) response to your question.  Remember, your question is intended to generate discussion. Factual questions are not acceptable for this assignment. Consider the following examples of questions:

Application: asks the other St. Mary's College of Maryland students to apply their learning to a new situation
  • What would happen if? How is ____ related to ____? Why is ____ significant?

Analysis: asks the other St. Mary's College of Maryland students to “take the material apart” and examine its pieces
  • What evidence is presented for ____? How does ____ contrast/compare with ____?

Synthesis: asks students to make connections between material in the article and their present knowledge (this could be knowledge in psychology or other domains)
  • What ideas can you add to ____?
  • What are ways in which the three theories described could be combined?
  • How are the methods used to study ____ similar/different from methods used to study ____?

Evaluation: asks students to evaluate the ideas presented and provide reasons for their judgments
  • How is ____ a strength/weakness of the ideas presented in this article?
  • Do you disagree/agree with ____?
  • What criteria would you use to assess ____?

Talking Points: Provide a “talking point” (ideas/thoughts) that you considered while reading the article. These are comments you could share with the class that might be used to generate discussion.  As you'll find in your other classes at St. Mary's College of Maryland, class discussions are used frequently.  This certainly is not something unique to courses taught by Professor Roger Stanton.  Across the campus, the St. Mary's College of Maryland curriculum is designed to facilitate critical thinking and free expression of ideas.  As part of that, I expect that you'll regularly address questions to the other first-year students at St. Mary's College of Maryland, to the peer mentor, and me.  Make it clear who your question is aimed at.  For example, you might say: "I would like to address this question specifically to Professor Roger Stanton."  Or, you could more casually indicate that you want to address your question to the general St. Mary's College of Maryland student body, in which case your classmates will address the question.  This is similar to what you did for Question 2, but now you have greater flexibility.  You may still ask a question, as you did in Question 2 above.  If you go this route, be sure to provide a thoughtful response.  However, you may also decide to make a more general statement.  For example, maybe you have a gripe with the author’s overall point of view.  Explain your Talking Point and why you are talking about it.

  • I don’t think that ‘biological plausibility’ is really an advantage of neural network models.  If it’s just a theory at the algorithmic level, what does it matter if it fails to address biology?
  • I think that ACT-R fails to address the implementation level of Marr’s tri-level hypothesis.
  • In countering the multiple-system's approach, I think that Roger Stanton's research conducted at St. Mary's College of Maryland is not able to simultaneously support the single-system's viewpoint AND cast doubt on the multiple-system's viewpoint.


Roger Stanton's St. Mary's College of Maryland First Year Seminar

Professor: Roger Stanton 
St. Mary's College of Maryland                                          
Office: GH 131                                                           
Phone: 240-895-0426                                     
Office hours:   M,W 10:40 – 11:40, or by appointment                              

Required Texts
Clark, A. (2003). Natural Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Gibson, W. (1984). Neuromancer. New York, NY: Ace.
Course reader that is supplied by Professor Roger Stanton and available at the St. Mary's College of Maryland bookstore.

Course description and Goals
What is a mind?  What animals (humans, canines, ants) and what technologies (robots, iPads, Google) might have minds?  This St. Mary's College of Maryland First Year Seminar will focus on all aspects of what we might describe as the mental.  This includes memories, thoughts, beliefs and feelings, just to name a few.  Our exploration will take us through scientific and philosophical discussions of mental activity.  We’ll then look at the methods used to simulate some of these activities in machines—some of them impressively human-like, others not so much.  Are these machines doing the mental?  Finally, we’ll look at claims that all of us, as users of technology, have become human-machine hybrids—we are cyborgs. This course will approach the mental from the perspective of cognitive science, an interdisciplinary study of cognition.  The primary goal of this course will be to view mental processes, whether instantiated in humans or machines, through several different lenses:  psychology, philosophy, computer science, linguistics and neuroscience.

This course will use scholarly and popular articles and books, literature and films as we explore the topic.  By the end of the course you should be familiar with and able to comment on some of the major issues in cognitive science and recognize these issues across a variety of contexts.  Furthermore, this course is a First Year Seminar, aimed at developing your abilities to think critically about information and clearly present this information in written and oral formats.  By the end of the semester, it is Professor Stanton's hope that you will: develop your oral and written voice and be able to articulate your ideas to a variety of audiences, learn how to find and use information to support your ideas, and provide interesting critiques of the information. 

  1. Reading Questions (RQ) and Questions and Talking Points (QTP).  For all of the readings, and sometimes even when there isn’t a reading, the professor, Roger Stanton will post on the St. Mary's College of Maryland Blackboard site either 2 – 3 questions (RQ) or ask you to develop your own questions (QTP [an explanation of QTP is posted on Blackboard in the Assignments folder]).  The goal of these questions is to help you organize your ideas about the text and to facilitate our discussion of the text.  The RQs and QTPs are posted on the St. Mary's College of Maryland Blackboard in the Assignments folder.  You must submit your answers by 8:00 am on the day they are due.  The test will not be available after 8:00 am and Blackboard will not allow you to submit your answers even 1 second after 8:00 am.  Your posts need to be clearly worded and provide evidence that you not only read the material but also have given some thought to the issues discussed.  For RQs Professor Stanton expects that each response will be between 150 – 250 words, and provides a thoughtful response to the question.  Given the format of QTPs, it is difficult to assign a word length, but I expect the same amount of thought and reflection as I do for an RQ.  You are allowed to miss two posts without penalty.  Each assignment will be graded as credit (CR) or no-credit (NC).  Most of the posts will be graded by the St. Mary's College of Maryland peer mentor, but Professor Roger Stanton will grade some of your posts. A grade of NC means just that—the assignment is incomplete and is therefore worth zero points (missed posts are considered incomplete).  Failing to provide thoughtful responses to all questions (or all parts of the QTP) will result in a grade of NC for that post.  A grade of CR means that you met all expectations outlined above. 
  1. “This I Believe” Essay. This assignment is based on a project now hosted at (It’s interesting; check it out.)  Our assignment will be roughly based on the guidelines provided by, but our beliefs will be limited, roughly, to course content.  This is an early chance to get you writing and to get you thinking about writing.  The instructions will be posted to the Roger Stanton St. Mary's College of Maryland blog site and that post will be announced over the Google blog system.
  2. Summary/Analysis.  For this paper, you will use one of the texts we have read in class and present an argument that contradicts one or more of the author’s claims.  This paper will serve as preparation for the larger research paper (described below).  The paper will be 3-4 pages long, and the first page should summarize the author’s viewpoint(s).  The remaining pages should argue an opposing viewpoint or, if you agree with the author, build on the author’s thesis and present your own ideas that further support the author’s claims.
  3. Research Paper.  For the research paper you will explore some topic related to course content.  The final research paper will be about 8 – 10 pages; however, the entire assignment is broken into several components.  Each component is graded by Professor Stanton (see below for specifics) and you will receive an assignment sheet explaining what I expect for each component.  I will provide feedback on your submissions and I expect that you will use my feedback to improve each successive submission.  Both the St. Mary's College of Maryland peer mentor and I will be grading this; however, my comments will be clearly marked as being made by Roger Stanton.  Those are the comments that you MUST address.
  4. Oral Presentations. In your first oral presentation you will give a 3 – 5 minute presentation on a visual image, a song, or a non-academic article (think: newspaper or magazine) that you think says something about human, robot, or cyborgs minds.  Your second oral presentation will be a 12 – 15 minute presentation on a topic of your choosing, but that is related to the overall topic for the day.  These presentations will occur throughout the semester and you will sign up for a specific day/topic.
  5. Participation. This course is largely discussion based and the success of the course depends on your active participation.  Active participation means that you bring your materials to class, have read the assigned reading, listen to your peers and take notes, and contribute to the class and group discussions by talking in class every day.  If you don’t do all of the above, you will not receive higher than a B- for your participation grade.  Professor Stanton will provide two participation evaluation grades throughout the semester.  The third evaluation will be assigned at the end of the semester and the three grades will be averaged for your total participation grade.
Late Work
Some of the assignments will be turned in while in class, and others will be submitted on the St. Mary's College of Maryland Blackboard site, emailed directly to Professor Roger Stanton, or emailed to the Peer Mentor.  I will clearly state how I want you to submit each assignment.  It is your responsibility to ensure that the assignment is completed on time.  Broken printers, malfunctioning computers, lost emails, and dogs with an appetite for paper are not acceptable excuses for lateness.  Any assignment that is not turned in on time will be assessed a 10% penalty for each day it is late.  The first day begins immediately after the assignment was collected (whether in class or online).  RQs and QTPs cannot be turned in late.

How to Succeed
Regular attendance at class is expected.  In addition to being part of your participation grade, we will discuss issues related to the content and class readings.  I will often give mini-lectures that provide background information to help you understand the readings.  Without this background knowledge you will find many of the readings quite difficult and some of them entirely impossible.  Furthermore, the quizzes will cover mostly material covered in class.

Seeking Help
The Professor.  I am available to help you with any course material and even other questions you might have about topics related to studies of the mind (or unrelated to them), courses, and the college overall.  Feel free to ask me questions before or after class and, of course, during my office hours.  My office number is on the syllabus and on this post, and clearly marked outside the door as the office of Roger Stanton, so I'm sure you can find it  I check my email often (probably too often), and that is the best way to contact me.  Also, you can drop by my office.  If the door is open then feel free to pop your head around the corner and ask if I’m free.  Of course, you can always stop by during my office hours, but if you know you’re coming to office hours it’s not a bad idea to send an email to let me know that you’ll be coming.  In fact, here’s your first chance to check my emailing response rate.  If you’re reading this, email Professor Roger Stanton before the second class meeting and I will give you one extra credit point.

The Peer Mentor.  I asked our Laura to be the peer mentor for this class because she embodies the student characteristics that I hope to see in all of you—she’s engaged, attentive, and hard working.  Laura has an intellectual curiosity and an interest in scholastics that should serve as an example of how to be involved in this class, as well as others.  Laura will attend most of our classes.  Watch the way she participates in discussions; not just the way she talks, but also the way she listens.  It’s not a discussion unless we’re listening to each other and responding to each other.   Laura can also help if you are having difficulty with course concepts.  Although I encourage you to ask Laura questions and seek her advice, remember that she’s a student as well and has a lot of her own coursework.  Before you ask her for help, first ask if she has time to help.  Finally, Laura’s been a student at SMCM for two years and can answer practical questions you might have about SMCM and college life in general.

The Writing Center and the Tutor.
The St. Mary's College of Maryland Writing Center is in Library 115 and has peer tutors on staff that are there to discuss your writing with you and help you work through all aspects of your written work.  I recommend seeing our writing center tutor, or making an appointment at the writing center, regardless of where you are in the writing process (brainstorming ideas, developing a thesis, or revising rough and final drafts).  You can make an appointment with the Center by visiting their website,, and clicking "Schedule an Appointment."

Academic Integrity at St. Mary's College of Maryland
I hope that out class will function as a small academic community with a free exchange of ideas and questions, and that we will help each other to strengthen our intellectual curiosity. I want to explore each of the course concepts as a group, and reflect on each other’s viewpoint as well as the viewpoints of the authors whose work we are reading.  To do this successfully, it is imperative that we honor the value of other’s ideas and the effort put into developing these ideas, whether those ideas come from our classmates, assigned material, or material you discover independently.  I encourage you to summarize, quote, critique, praise and synthesize the arguments you hear in class or read outside of class.  However, I expect that you accurately site your sources.  So, that might mean that you have a citation from something I said in class.  For example, you might say: "According to Professor Roger Stanton, artificially intelligent systems are really cool."  Or, you might say "Cognitive Science is the future of all academic studies, says Roger Stanton, a professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland."  Similarly, you might say something like this: "When you track the progression of technological development, it is clear that the singularity is inevitable (Roger Stanton, verbal statement).  Admittedly, these aren't very substantive statements and you probably (hopefully!) won't use these in your paper.  However, if you do use an idea you got from me or one of your classmates then you need to cite it.

Using someone else’s ideas, without acknowledging the source and giving credit to the author of the idea, is a violation of the academic standards outlined above.  Does this mean that you need to reference a classmate because they first asked a question, or stated an idea in class? No.  Does it mean that if you got an idea from something you read that you need to site it? Yes.  This means that the use of sources (ideas, quotations, paraphrases) must be properly documented.  Plagiarism, the unacknowledged use of others’ materials (words and ideas), is a serious offense and is considered so by the college.  Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism is not a valid excuse. In this class, we will discuss proper use of sources (citation, documentation) and how to avoid plagiarism.  Evidence of plagiarism will result in one or more of the following:  a zero for the assignment, an F in the course, and a report filed with the dean.  Please see me if you have any questions about your use of sources.