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Cognitive Science sponsors extracurricular events of various kinds on a regular basis. These events include talks by distinguished cognitive scientists from other institutions presenting their cutting-edge research, student-faculty dinner chats held in the student dining center on specific cognitive science topics, and debates among program faculty on controversial issues in the field (such as "Is consciousness necessary for intelligence?"). Other recent events include a panel of Cognitive Science major alumni/ae talking about their post-Vassar educational and career experiences, and information sessions on selecting and applying to graduate school in Cognitive Science and related fields. The department also offers special independent study opportunities for academic credit that allow students to work in groups designing robots that compete at the end of the year in a competition open to the campus community, or have ongoing group discussions of famous and influential books in the field.