I'm meant to be doing a take-home exam that's due tomorrow and studying for an exam the day after that, so this seems like as good a time as any for a recap of the uni semester :P
After enrolling in nothing but linguistics at the beginning of the semester, I maanged at the last minute to swap half of them out for cogsci electives, one of them AI! I was quite impressed at my ability to shoehorn in another comp subject after I'd supposedly finished all my compsci electives. So I ended up with AI, psycholinguistics, contemporary grammar and the core cogsci course "Computers, brains, and minds"
AI was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. I've learnt a bunch about different AI methods, although I was disappointed that our assignments only used as hill climbing/A* algorithms, rather than a wider range of techniques. The coding was a complete bitch that took up ridiculous amounts of my time, but that's just comp :) And I'm still annoyed that my laptop hard drive died the day our first assignment was due, causing me to lose a very productive two hours' worth of code. It could well have translated into a difference in the mark I got, but who knows.
Contemporary English Grammar was a subject I have really mixed feelings about. I took it mostly because I like the lecturer's teaching style. But the material feels like it switches between stupidly easy and obvious, and relatively hard but only due to the completely arbtrary rules that we use to partition phrases. I still have no idea what the difference is between a relative clause and a peripheral dependent, and nor do I really care. Basically, I found it both boring and hard because of the arbitrariness of it. Having said that, now that we've gotten through the boring bits and are doing text analysis for the last assignment and the exam, I can see the usefulness of some of this stuff. I'm a lot more conscious of how sentences are constructed and why certain constructions feel more 'right' to me than others. So it seems like a useful tool to improve my writing and my understanding of other people's writing at the end of it, and kind of useful after all.
Cogsci was taught by a philosophy lecturer and it showed in the sheer amount of readings we were expected to do each week and the artsiness of the discussions. Cogsci is a really interesting field since it combines AI, linguistics and philosophy, although in some ways it just meant that we spent a lot of time learning in a small amount of detail stuff that I already knew a lot about from doing the courses the concepts originally came from. I enjoyed this subject mostly because it gave me an incentive to read and access to a whole lot of the more famous papers in all the three fields. Also we learnt about Turing machines!
Psycholinguistics is one of the best courses I've done, period. The lecturer is awesome, the material is fascinating, and the assessments were simple tests of understanding, and therefore easy. The other people doing the course were also interesting and drawn from all sorts of backgrounds, leading to all sorts of debates and expert knowledge of what goes on between language and the brain.