Qualitative Reasoning Group

Northwestern University


qrg graphics

CogSketch Logo


People sketch to work through ideas and to communicate, especially when dealing with spatial matters. Software that could participate in sketching could revolutionize spatial education and provide a new kind of instrument for cognitive science research, and also be be an important scientific advance in its own right. Our goal is to do the research and development needed to create a sketch understanding system that can be used as an instrument for cognitive science research and as a platform for educational software. This system, called CogSketch, will be one of the products of the Center. Our vision is that, in ten years or less, sketch-based educational software can be as widely available to students as graphing calculators are today. To achieve this vision will require tight collaboration between the AI researchers on the CogSketch development team and psychologists, learning scientists, and educators.

Main Project Page: http://www.silccenter.org/.../tool-sketching

Read This First:

System Requirements:

Want to help scientists help you?
Researchers at the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) are gathering a corpus of sketches using CogSketch. CogSketch is the sketch understanding software that we are creating, which is available for free from our web site. It has two purposes. First, we are using it to explore how people reason and learn. Second, we are exploring how to incorporate sketching into education, to improve student learning. By gathering people's sketches, scientists will be able to do analyses that will help them with both of these missions. If you want to participate, all you have to do is download CogSketch, and indicate your acceptance when you install the software. (If you change your mind, there is a "Phone Home" setting in the software preferences.)

CogSketch, version 4.16

Installer for version 4.16 (MS Windows) (630 MB) [12/21/2020]

The above link will take you to the form required to download the installers for the latest version of CogSketch

Individual Downloads

User Manual (2.7 MB) [12/21/2020]

The User Manual is included in the installer above — this link is just for those who would like to look at the manual without installing CogSketch.

Spatial Reasoning Manual (0.6 MB) [2/11/2016]

This document is included in the installer above — the link is just for those who would like to look at the manual without installing CogSketch.

Knowledge-Base for v4.16 (569 MB) [12/21/2020]

The knowledge-base is also included in the installer above so you do not need to download this separately. This is for those who want to restore their knowledge-base to its original state. Download this file, unzip it, and choose "Restore Knowledge-Base" from CogSketch' FIRE menu.


Recent Presentations

Revision History

New in v 4.16 (released 12/21/2020)

  • Bug fix: Exporting history action new-subsketch now works again.

New in v 4.15 (released 10/20/2020)

  • Worksheet authors can now choose to suppress highlighting associated with a particular piece of tutor advice.

New in v 4.14 (released 9/29/2020)

  • You can now use zero for the font-size applied to text labels. Such labels won't be rendered on screen, and will no longer cause errors when being moved, resized, or rotated.

See the Complete Revision History for earlier changes.

Back to Software page | Back to QRG Home Page