CSCI/PHIL 4550/6550 - Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Donald Nute

Fall Semester, 2005

The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary.

The class meets Tuesday and Thursday 11:00-12:15 in Ecology 201. There will be informal labs for this course at the AI Center, Graduate Studies 111, on Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-10:45. My email address is and my telephone number is 542-0881. My office hours are 11:15-12:00 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in Graduate Studies 111. The required text for the course is Russell and Norvig, Artificial Intelligence - A Modern Approach, Second Edition. You will also read several essays on the philosophical foundations of AI. These will be available on the Web or will be placed on reserve in the AI Center.

Artificial intelligence is conceived by some as the attempt to build rational agents. This perspective is emphasized in our textbook and throughout this course. You will explore the goals, the successes, the problems, and the methodologies of artificial intelligence research and practice. You will practice many of the AI techniques we encounter in the text by building agents for the V-World environment. (V-World is simulation software written in Prolog.) You will study some of the philosophical issues that AI raises, agent types, search algorithms, knowledge representation, planning, and learning.

Grading for CSCI/PHIL 4550/6550. Here is a list of the assignments and exams for the course, together with an indication of how much each will contribute to your final grade.
Exercises from the V-World Workbook (online) 15%
Weekly quizzes (on Wednesdays) 15%
Two short essays on philosophical questions 15%
Midterm exam (October 11) 15%
V-World Project (Due Thursday, December 8) 20%
Final Exam (Tuesday, December 13, 12:00-3:00) 20%

This course is cross-listed in Computer Science. You will be required to complete programming exercises and an extended programming project in WIN-PROLOG, a logic programming language installed on the PCs in the AI Lab. You cannot do your exercises or projects in Java or C++ or Lisp or in any other language or in any any other version of Prolog; you must do your exercises and projects in WIN-PROLOG. We will look at Prolog code in class and in the optional labs before class, but you must be prepared to do independent work learning to program in Prolog if you wish to complete this course successfully. This course is also cross-listed in Philosophy. You will be required to write two short essays on philosophical questions.

You will submit exercises and projects involving V-World by email, and deadlines for each exercise will be announced in class. Exams will be taken in class and will include questions and exercises based on assigned readings and class lectures. Criteria for grading exams may differ for undergraduates and graduate students, and graduate students may be required to complete some exercises and projects not assigned to undergraduates.

You will only be allowed to make up exams due to a documented illness, any absence authorized by the University, or a non-academic reason beyond your control. If you know in advance that you cannot attend an exam, you must talk to me at least a week before the exam about your conflict. I will make the final decision about whether your reason for missing an exam qualifies.

You cannot make up quizzes for any reason. You will be able to earn full credit for quizzes even if you miss a few, but the fewer quizzes you miss, the better your opportunity to earn full credit. I will accept the exercises and papers after the deadline, but there will be a penalty for lateness.

All academic work must meet the standards contained in “A Culture of Honesty.” Students are responsible for informing themselves about those standards before performing any academic work.

Class Web Site. This syllabus is copied from the class web site, which is available at Information will be added to this site from time to time during the course and you should check it regularly. There will also be links to useful information here, including announcements for any talks on campus concerning AI this semester that I learn about. Links will appear at this point in the web site.

Final Exam Study Items

Key to Midterm Exam

Expanded Search File

Bumble 1.1 Notes

Clausal Logic and Logic Programming

V-World Home Page


Philosophical Foundations Study Questions

Alan Turing, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence."

Allen Newell and Herbert Simon, "Computer Science as Empirical Enquirey: Symbols and Search"

John Searle, "Minds, Brains, and Programs."

Turing Biography

Newell Biography

Simon Biography

Turing Machines

Digital Systems

Dennett's Home Page

Essay on Functionalism

Prolog Style Guide

Prolog Utilities

Last revised 12/06/2005.