CS63 Artificial Intelligence
Fall 2011

Schedule | Grading | Academic Accommodations | Lab Policy | Links


Final Exam is 12:45-2:45pm on Tuesday, Dec. 6 in SCI 128

Class Information

Lecture: T, TH 1:15 – 2:30pm SCI 128
Lab A: F 1:15 – 2:45pm SCI 256
Lab B: F 3:00 – 4:30pm SCI 256

Professor: Lisa Meeden
Office: SCI 243
Phone: 8565
Office hours: W 1:30 – 3:30pm, or you can stop by whenever my door is open.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be defined as the branch of computer science that is concerned with the automation of intelligent behavior. Intelligent behavior encompasses a wide range of abilities, and as a result AI has become a very broad field that includes game playing, automated reasoning, natural language processing, modeling human performance, robotics, and machine learning. This course will explore a subset of these topics. In the first half of the semester we will focus on how to formulate problems in terms of search. We will create programs that use search to solve puzzles and to play games against an opponent. In the second half of the semester we will focus on machine learning. We will create programs using genetic algorithms, artificial neural networks, and reinforcement learning that automatically improve with experience. We will also discuss robotics and create programs to control simulated robots to navigate a series of increasingly more challenging mazes to find a goal. Throughout the course we will explore how AI relates to the interdisciplinary field of Cognitive Science.


There is no textbook for this course. We will be reading excerpts from several textbooks as well as articles and chapters from the primary literature. All readings are available as links off the schedule below. To prepare for class do the readings for the week prior to the first class meeting of the week.

Goals for the course


Grades will be weighted as follows:
5%Class Participation
25%Midterm Exam Oct. 6, in class
25%Final Exam Dec. 6, in class

Academic Accommodations

If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Leslie Hempling in the Office of Student Disability Services, located in Parrish 130, or e-mail lhempli1 to set up an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations. Leslie Hempling is responsible for reviewing and approving disability-related accommodation requests and, as appropriate, she will issue students with documented disabilities an Accommodation Authorization Letter. Since accommodations may require early planning and are not retroactive, please contact her as soon as possible.

Lab Policy

Labs will be assigned on Fridays, during the scheduled lab time, and will be due the following Thursday by midnight. You will turn in your labs using the handin63 program.

Late labs will only be accepted if you contact me at least a day before the deadline with a legitimate reason for needing extra time (such as an illness or needing to leave campus).

Even if you do not fully complete an assignment, you should submit what you have done to receive partial credit.


1 Aug 30   Foundations of AI None
Sep 01  
2 Sep 06   Search 1: State space search
Sep 08 Drop/Add ends (Sep 09)
3 Sep 13   Informed search 2: A* search
Sep 15  
4 Sep 20   Game playing 3: Minimax search
Sep 22  
5 Sep 27   Local and parallel search Game tournament
Sep 29  
6 Oct 04   Review None

Oct 06

Midterm Exam


Oct 11

Fall Break

Oct 13

7 Oct 18   Machine learning None
Oct 20  
8 Oct 25   Evolutionary search 4: Genetic algorithm
Oct 27  
9 Nov 01   Neural networks 5: Classification
Nov 03 Last day to declare CR/NC or W (Nov 04)
10 Nov 08   Reinforcement learning 6: Learning Tic-Tac-Toe
Nov 10  
11 Nov 15   Embodiment and Robotics 7: Subsumption
Nov 17  
12 Nov 22   Natural intelligence vs Artificial intelligence None

Nov 24

Thanksgiving Break

13 Nov 29   Successes of AIReview Subsumption Challenge Results
Dec 01  

Dec 06

Final Exam