The computer science program held a symposium on cognitive science, focusing on the idea of “context” and the role of symbol in language comprehension. Speakers included: the director of the Artificial Intelligence Project at Yale University, Roger C. Schank; Professor of Philosophy Daniel C. Dennett from Tufts University; Jerre Levy, professor of biopsychology at the University of Chicago; Professor of Psychology Howard Gardner from Harvard and James D. McCawley, professor of linguistics of the University of Chicago.

The Cognitive Science Society was incorporated in 1979, and Vassar's multidisciplinary program in Cognitive Science, inaugurated in 1982, was the first program in the world to offer the bachelor's degree in the field.