CSc 180 -- Fall 2018
Intelligent Systems

| Syllabus | Schedule | Instructor | Homework | Collaboration Policy |

Course Syllabus

Scott Gordon
RVR 5040, phone: 278-7946

Office Hours
Wed 2-4 (RVR-3018)
Thurs 3-5 (RVR-5040)
Please feel free to drop by my office at other times.

Canvas will be used for submitting assignments.

Class Meetings
Mon/Wed 4:00-5:15

Course Overview
In this course we will study a variety of techniques for using computers to simulate intelligent behavior. Emphasis will be placed on an in-depth study of implementation techniques for a few popular approaches, rather than trying to cover the entire field of Artificial Intelligence. Students will implement at least four (4) programming projects, and will also propose and test their own ideas within the areas under study. Project topics will include expert systems, fuzzy logic, neural networks and deep learning, evolutionary computation (genetic algorithms and genetic programming), and two-player game-tree search. Other techniques such as hill climbing, A* search, Particle Swarm Optimization, and Ant Colony Optimization will. In addition to the technical aspects of these projects, students write project reports that will require them to apply technical writing skills and originality.

This course also includes the annual 2-player Strategy Board Game Tournament. Students are given the rules to a moderately simple board game, and will each write a program that plays the game. After a few weeks, the programs compete against each other in a fun but often hotly-contested tournament for fame and glory! To write a program that plays this type of game well requires clever search algorithms and efficient, fast code. Results from previous years can be browsed by visiting the results page. You might recognize some of your friends from previous tournaments, and, like them, you too will experience the thrill of victory, or the agony of defeat! The tournament often draws spectators.

Course Materials
Lucci/Kopec - Artificial Intelligence in the 21st Century, 2nd edition, Mercury Learning, 2016 (required).

helpful supplemental material:
Negnevitsky, Michael - Artificial Intelligence, Addison-Wesley.
Russell and Norvig - Artificial Intelligence, A Modern Approach, Prentice Hall.
Coppin, Ban - Artificial Intelligence Illuminated, Jones & Bartlett.

CSc-130, Math-31 or Math-26B, Stat-50 or Engr-115, and CSc-135.
or, consent of instructor.

Students who have not met the prerequisites of the course will automatically be dropped, unless arrangements are made directly with the instructor. It is the students' responsibility to discuss any questions or unusual situations regarding prerequisites with the instructor during the first week of class, or face being administratively dropped from the course.

Important Dates
Monday Sep 3 Labor Day (no classes)
Monday Oct 8 Midterm #1
Monday Nov 12 Veterans Day (no classes)
Thurs/Fri Nov 22-23 Thanksgiving Break (no classes, but doesn't affect us)
Monday Nov 26 Midterm #2
Wed Dec 12 Final Exam 3:00-5:00

The proposed outline of material to be covered appears in the course schedule. Students are expected to attend all lectures and to read the relevant sections of the textbook and posted notes, prior to lecture. Students are responsible for making arrangements to get notes from other students if they are absent.

Homework Assignments (Projects)
Homework will consist of four fairly large multi-week projects, which will be graded. Most of the projects will be individual, but there may also be team projects. Students may be required to submit project proposals or progress reports during the development period. Refer to the Homework Guidelines for more information, and to individual project assignments for specific details.

The examinations include material covered in lecture, project material, and material covered in the relevant sections of the course text and other weekly reading materials provided. There will be two midterms and a final exam. The final exam will be comprehensive. Taking exams at times other than scheduled is only done under extreme circumstances and must be arranged in advance with the instructor.

All exams are closed book. One 8.5x11 sheet of notes, handwritten (NOT photocopied from other sources) will be allowed for the final exam only. (The page of notes is submitted along with the exam.) Each midterm will be 40 minutes in length (one-half of a class period), and the final exam will be two hours long.


Projects 60% (15% each)
Midterms 10% each
Final Exam 20%

At the end of the semester, a final percentage will be calculated according to the above criteria. It will then be rounded to the nearest integer value. Then, two grades will be assigned: first, a straight percentage grade according to the following scale:

    93-100   A
    90-92    A-
    87-89    B+
    83-86    B
    80-82    B-
    77-79    C+
    73-76    C
    70-72    C-
    67-69    D+
    63-66    D
    60-62    D-
    below 60 F
The second grade assigned will be based on a curve of the final point scores of all students.

The final grade will be the higher of the two assigned grades. That is, the percentage scale listed above is the minimum grade that a student will receive based on his/her percentage.

Incomplete Grades
University guidelines regarding the grade of Incomplete will be strictly adhered to. Incomplete grades will only be given under extraordinary conditions beyond a student's control. Inability to keep up with the work due to an excessive course load, for example, is insufficient to warrant an Incomplete. A student who does not have a passing grade based on the work completed thus far at the time of the request is ineligible for an Incomplete.

Students on military reserve whose units go on active duty during or around the final exam period are eligible for an Incomplete.

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