Instructor: Prof. Chris Fernandes
Office Hours: MW 1:30-2:30, Th 1:30-3:30, or anytime my door's open!
Office: 229 Steinmetz Hall
Course Webpage: http://cs.union.edu/csc244
Text (1 required). Available at the Bookstore:
Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig,
Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, 2nd edition,
Prentice Hall, 2003.
Artificial Intelligence is an extremely broad subfield of computer
science encompassing a wide array of topics including robotics,
reasoning, vision, and natural language, just to name a few. I don't
want this course to be just a survey course where you learn "almost
nothing about everything", so instead, we'll be going more in-depth
into a fewer number of topics.
The purpose of this course is to
understand how algorithmic and mathematical concepts can be used
to imitate rational behavior. Course goals are:
- to know how to formulate problems that are conducive to being solved by
- to understand the relationship between searching and problem-solving
- to learn how knowledge can be represented and used
I hope to at least cover the following topics:
- Rational agents
- Uninformed and Informed search techniques
- Knowledge representation
The prerequisite for this course is CSc 136: Advanced Programming
Techniques or the equivalent. (CSc 211 for graduate students.)
We'll be drawing heavily upon this course and its predecessor
(Data Structures), so get out those old notes and come talk to me
during office hours if you need to review, since we won't be using
class time for prerequisite material.
- Written homework: 25%
- Programming project(s): 20%
- Midterm Exam: 25%
- Final Exam: 30%
Students often have some confusion about what might or might not be
considered "cheating" in a computer science
class. In general, you should take advantage of your instructors
and fellow students in working out
solutions to assignments. However, I also need to make sure that you are
actually learning, and not simply using all of
these resources as a crutch. As with writing a paper for an English
there is a point at which working together
becomes plagiarism. As a rule of thumb, feel free to discuss
general solutions to problems, but the writing down of an
actual solution must be done solo by you.
If you find yourself turning in work
that looks substantially like the work of
someone else, you should seriously examine whether you have crossed
the line. If you have any doubts, talk to me
before turning in the assignment.
In all cases, you must give credit to any source
(like a written work or help from some individual) that you use to help
complete an assignment. Again, this is similar to writing an English
if you use a quote or material from someone else,
you have to give credit where credit is due. Otherwise you are
inappropriately plagiarizing or borrowing ideas.
What you need to do
To prepare for class, you are required to do the following:
You are expected to be present for every class. However, I realize that
sometimes other things come up (interview, illness, etc.) so
just please let me know in advance or by phone/email if you're going to
be absent. Unexcused absences are NOT allowed and will
affect your grade. If you miss class, get notes from someone
and do the readings before coming to see me. I'm happy to
explain things, but I won't repeat lectures for you.
Read the text
Lectures will primarily follow the major topics covered by the text.
You should do the reading for that week before coming to class so
that questions you have about the material can be answered during
There will always be a time for questions about the readings or previous
lectures at the beginning of class. Take advantage of it.
Check the webpage
The reading assignments (and other announcements) will be
posted regularly on the course webpage. You are required
to check it at least once a week. The URL
is at the top of this document.
The Bottom Line
Ask questions and seek help. This is the most important
point of all. I live to answer questions. Don't be afraid to
come to my office every single day if you want. It's better
for everybody (you AND me) if you understand
things sooner rather than later.
Any student with a documented learning disorder is welcome to
come talk to me privately about options for completion of exams and
CSc 244 homepage