Voices of Sym Sys is the podcast of the symbolic systems program at Stanford University. Each episode you’ll hear from a student, faculty, or alumnus related to symbolic systems, which is the interdisciplinary study of the relationship between minds, machines, and the world.
This episode our guest is Elisa Jimenez, a symbolic systems major concentrating in human-computer interaction. In her interview with Kylie Holland, Elisa will answer a few questions like: What does the archetypical symsys student look like? How does one explain the major to potential employers? Where can a symsys degree take you after graduation?
Today on Voices of Symsys, we’re commemorating Professor Ken Taylor, who passed away in December 2019. Professor Taylor was the director of the symbolic systems program for 9 years, bringing a signature warmth, energy, and love for the major. In addition to directing the Symbolic Systems Program, Professor Taylor also taught philosophy and co-hosted the radio show “Philosophy Talks.”
This interview with Professor Taylor was conducted by student Caroline Ricksen in winter of 2019. Professor Taylor discusses the goals of the symbolic systems program, the structure of the curriculum, and the major’s influence on students’ ways of thinking.
Professor Taylor was instrumental to making symbolic systems what it is today. This episode is dedicated to his memory.
This episode’s guest is Eric Zelikman, a current student in symbolic systems. In his interview with Meilan Steimle, Eric reflects on the existential dread of considering graduate studies, his two and a half years at Stanford, and the things he can learn from his regrets.
Today’s guest is Brendan O’Connor, a symbolic systems alumnus and current assistant professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In his interview with Griffin Young, Brendan discusses his favorite Stanford classes, the process for discovering his passions, and his perspectives on building ethical AI.
Today’s guest is Tina Hwang, a symbolic systems alumna who graduated in 2000. She’ll be interviewed by Sophia Serafin, a current student, and will be shedding some light as to why she chose the major and the various jobs she has had since graduating.
This episode our guest is Professor Paul Skokowski, former lecturer for SymSys 1. In his interview with Mia Paulsen, he dives into the history behind his path to symbolic systems, explaining the reasons why, and how, he teaches SymSys 1.
This episode, our guest is Julian Alvarez, a SymSys 1 TA and philosophy co-term student . In his interview with Laura Pelaez, Julian elaborates on courses he enjoyed during his undergraduate SymSys career, what he is doing now as a co-term student, and general advice for perspective SymSys majors.
Today’s guest is Makiko Fujimoto, a symbolic systems alumna who graduated in 2014. She’ll be interviewed by Levi Lian, a current student, about her upbringing as a third culture kid always on the move, the decision of choosing symbolic systems as her major, and her reflections on her academic milestones.
This episode, our guest is Antigone Xenopoulos, who is a Symbolic Systems major with a concentration in decision making and rationality. In her interview with Nicole Birkner, she reflects on the opportunity to pursue a secondary major with Symbolic Systems and provides insights into the different paths people pursue after SymSys.
Today’s guest is Orren Karniol-Tambour, a masters’ student in symbolic systems. In his interview with Phillip Lambert, Orren offers advice on careers after SymSys and why an interdisciplinary approach gives you more flexibility and adaptability in the job market. Here’s Orren.
Today’s guest is Dan Schwartz, Dean of the Graduate School of Education. He’ll be interviewed by Colin Norick about his past, his current work, and how Symbolic Systems has been a defining theme throughout his experiences. He will also address topics relevant to students trying to navigate an interdisciplinary field or those trying to choose between Symbolic Systems and other majors.
Today’s guest is Hope Schroeder, an alumna of symbolic systems and former advising fellow. In her interview with Danya Adib, Hope shares her journey over the past four years at Stanford, discussing major declaration, study abroad, research, honors thesis, and post-graduate plans. Here’s Hope.
This episode our guest is Clay Kunz, a symsys alum and robotics engineer. He’ll be interviewed by Jñani Crawford, another student, about his views of the SymSys major and how it connects to his career and interest in exploratory robotics.
This episode our guest is Sandhini Agarwal, a senior majoring in Symbolic Systems and Philosophy. She’ll be interviewed by Isabelle Zhou, another student, about her experience concentrating in artificial intelligence, doing research in both natural language processing and human-computer interaction, and her interest in the ethics of technology.
Welcome to the first episode of Voices of Sym Sys. Each episode you’ll hear from a student, faculty, or alumnus related to symbolic systems, which is the interdisciplinary study of the relationship between minds, machines, and the world.
This episode our guest is John Liu, a symbolic systems major concentrating in decision making and rationality. He’ll be interviewed by Lucas Hornsby, another student, about his entrepreneurial endeavors and how Symbolic Systems has supported them, as well as his perspective as an international student pursuing an unconventional, interdisciplinary major.