The course described on this page ended May 5, 2005

CPSC 453: Artificial Intelligence

   Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
   Hobart and William Smith Colleges

   Spring, 2005.

   Instructor:  David J. Eck  (

   Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 1:55 -- 2:50 PM.
   Room Gulick 100.

   Course Handout:

Some Web Links:

End of Term

Our final class meeting will be on Monday, May 2. The presentations for the final projects will take place between 2:00 and 4:00 on Thursday, May 5. The presentations will be in Lansing 300, not in our regular classroom. My office hours for the final week of the term are as follows:

          Monday, May 2:      12:00 -- 1:30 PM
          Wednesday,  May 4:   2:00 -- 4:00 PM
          Thursday, May 5:    12:00 -- 2:00 PM
          Saturday, May 7:    11:00 AM -- 2:00 PM
          Sunday, May 8:       2:00 -- 4:00 PM

(If you would like to have your final project paper back, you can pick it up during my office hours on Saturday or Sunday. Final grades for the course will also be available then.)

Fourteenth Week: April 25, 27, and 29

We will finish up natural langauge processing on Monday. On Wednesday, we will discuss Alan Turing's paper "Computing Machinery and Intelligence." Be sure to read this paper before class!

The third and final test of the semester will be given on Friday of this week. An information sheet is available.

Thirteenth Week: April 18, 20, and 22

We will finish our discussion of learning by looking briefly at neural nets. Neural nets are covered in Section 20.5 of the textbook, but we will not cover the more mathematical material. On Wednesday, we will turn to natural language processing. The reading on this material is Sections 9.1 to 9.4 of the "Natural Language Understanding" handout.

Twelfth Week: April 11, 13, and 15

On Monday, we will discuss sematic nets, which will finish the topic of knowledge representation. The knowledge representation assignment is due in class on Friday of this week. Our next topic will be learning. We will start this topic on Wednesday. The reading for the week is Chapter 18 from the textbook.

Eleventh Week: April 4, 6, and 8

We are continuing with the theme of Knowledge Representation. The reading for the week consists of Chapter 8 in the textbook, Sections 1 and 2 of Chapter 10 in the textbook, and the handout on knowledge representation omitting Sections 4.11 and 4.12.

The following homework on this material is due next Friday, April 15:

         From Chapter 8:   Exercises 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, and 8.8

         From Chapter 10:  Write a commentary (a long paragraph) on Exercises 10.22 and 10.23;
                              Do not do these two exercises, just comment on them!

         From the handout: Exercises 3, 16, and 17

This will be the last homework assignment of the term. After this, you should just be working on your final project.

Tenth Week: March 28 and 30; April 1

There is a test on Friday of this week, April 1. An information sheet about the test is available.

On Monday and Wednesday, we will finish Chapter 7 and begin Chapter 8, which covers the use of predicate logic for knowledge representation. Chapter 8 is not covered on the test. There is an assignment due on Wednesday.

Ninth Week: March 21, 23, and 25

For the next two weeks, we will be talking about knowledge representation and reasoning using logic. You should read Chapter 7 (although there are a few parts of this chapter that we won't cover in class). In particular, be sure to read about the Wumpus World, Section 7.2, before class on Wednesday. I want to use this example in class, but I don't want to have to go through the description of the game that is already given in the textbook.

For the next assignment in the course, you will be working in Lisp. This assignment is due next Wednesday, March 30. And there is a test coming up next week, on Friday, April 1.

There is also information about the final project for the course. You should select a topic for your project by next Monday, March 28.

Eighth Week: March 7 and 9

We will be covering some material on Lisp this week. Wednesday is the last day of classes before Spring break. Classes resume on Monday, March 21.

Seventh Week: February 28; March 2 and 4

The reading for the week is Chapter 6. We will finish that chapter this week. After that, we will depart from the original syllabus to spend a little more time in Lisp. The original syllabus included a few classes devoted to the programming language Prolog. We will be doing Lisp instead, and we will be doing it a little earlier in the term.

On Wednesday, people in the class will be giving short presentations on topics in AI. These are topics that might work for a final project. Walter will talk about Expert Systems; Levi, about Neural Nets; Brandon, about the Genetic Algorithm; and Eduardo, about Email Spam Filtering.

Sixth Week: February 21, 23, and 25

After the test on Monday, we will be skipping Chapter 5 and moving on to Chapter 6. This chapter covers "adversarial search," which is this textbook's name for the type of programming that is used to make computers play games such as checkers, reversi, or chess.

Fifth Week: February 14, 16, and 18

We will finish talking about heuristic search on Monday. For Wednesday and Friday, we will move on to the local search, which makes up the second half of Chapter 4. The reading is Chapter 4, Sections 4.3 and 4.4.

There is a test next Monday, February 21. An information sheet about the test is available.

Fourth Week: February 7, 9, and 11

We will finish Chapter 3 and begin Chapter 4 this week. The reading is Sections 3.5, 4.1, and 4.2.

Assignment 2 is due on Friday, and we will spend part of the day discussing your responses to that assignment.

Assignment 3 is a programming assignment based on Chapter 3. It will be due on Friday of next week, and it will be the basis for Assignment 4.

Third Week: January 31; February 2 and 4

The assignment from last week's lab is due on Friday. We will start Chapter 3, on problem-solving and search, this week. You should read Sections 3.1 to 3.4.

Second Week: January 24, 26, and 28

Last Friday, we had a short introduction to Lisp. This week, our Friday class will be in the computer lab (Lansing 312) for some hands-on work on Lisp.

The reading for the week is Chapter 2, which introduces the "intelligent agent" concept.

Lab Worksheet for Friday's class

Direct link to A.L.I.C.E. (for Exercise 1)

First Week: January 17, 19, and 21

The first week of the course will be an introduction and overview of the field of Artificial Intelligence. You should read Chapter 1 in the textbook before Wednesday's class, and you should be prepared to discuss it in class. By Friday, we should be able to start Chapter 2, which introduces the "AI agent" point of view that is used throughout the textbook.