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Theoretical Neuroscience - Which Undergrad Major?

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tsangha
#1
Jun7-12, 05:39 AM
P: 3
Hello.

I'm currently a junior undergraduate at a liberal arts school. Next year I'm transferring to Columbia's engineering program through a wonderful Combined Plan Program. If anyone knows anything about this, I would love some more information than just what I could find on their website. By this program, I get a BA from my arts school, and a BS from Columbia.

For the BS, I have to decide on a major within their engineering field. The two top choices for me are Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. As for my future career goals, I'm hoping to enroll in an MD-PhD program somewhere in the country, too early to say where. For the PhD half of this program, I am quite certain that I would like to do Theoretical Neuroscience -- which is already a very interdisciplinary field. My question is what kind of undergraduate preparation would be best for work in this field? I'm interested in memory, attention, decision-making, and learning from a complex adaptive networks perspective.

The way it seems to me at the moment, I could do applied mathematics and gain some foundations in creating models etc, and Columbia offers a remarkable amount of freedom in choosing what courses/specialties to take in the field - meaning I could begin working already on some biologically-inspired models. If I do CompSci, I would take artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, etc. but do only limited work on biologically-relevant models of cognition.
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