PSU CS441/541 Artificial Intelligence
Fall 2001
Course Syllabus

When: 1800-2130 (6:00-9:30PM) Thursdays
Where: PCAT 28
Who: Bart Massey <>
Office Hours: by e-mail appointment
CRN: 10720(441), 10744(541)
Assistant: Hongyon Suauthai

What: The catalog says

Artificial Intelligence (4/3)

Introduction to the basic concepts and techniques of artificial intelligence. Knowledge representation, problem solving, and AI search techniques. Program will be written in one of the AI languages. Prerequisites: CS 202, 252.

This course explores the ideas behind Artificial Intelligence, from philosophical underpinnings to the grungy details of coding.

Announcement: The course textbook will be the Nilsson textbook listed below. It is available at the bookstore (last I checked). I apologize for any confusion the textbook selection process has caused.


Online: E-mail and Web

There are two special e-mail addresses associated with the course:

Mail to <> will contact myself and your teaching assistant personally: use this for homework submissions, class questions, etc.

<> is the course mailing list (using majordomo). Subscribe to this by sending an e-mail message to with subscribe cs541-discuss in the body, and use it for class discussions and the like. Unfortunately, because of a new ruling by the State and University about maintaining the confidentiality of student e-mail addresses, I will not be posting to this list.

I will be putting up a class Wiki shortly, and we will try that out as a medium for announcements, discussion, etc.


Required Text: (This is now definitively the course text: see the announcement above.)

Nils Nilsson
Artificial Intelligence: A New Synthesis
Morgan Kaufman 1998
ISBN 1-55860-467-7
Errata are available from the publisher.

Other Readings

Dr. Richard Korf
Heuristic Search, chapter 7
Unpublished MS, 1999
(class handout)



The coursework will consist of a series of projects, largely implementing various ideas from the text, culminating in a final larger project. (Those experimenting with departmental computers must follow the ``safety guidelines''.) There will be midterm and final examinations.

Deliverable %
Homework 40%
Project 30%
Midterm Exam 10%
Final Exam 20%

Academic Honesty

If I catch you plagiarizing any material, I will do what I can to end your academic career. Plagiarism is using anyone else's works, writings, or ideas without explicitly giving them credit. If you get code, ideas, or text from a fellow student, put their name on it so that we both know what happened.

Course Schedule

Date Topics Readings HW
9/27 Introduction To AI Nilsson ch. 1-2  
10/4 Reactive Agents and Propositional Logic Nilsson ch. 5,13-14 HW1
10/11 Speculative Agents; Single-Agent Search Nilsson ch. 7-9,11  
10/18 Reasoning Agents and Predicate Calculus Nilsson ch. 15-16  
10/25 Midterm Examination
Competing Agents and Adversary Search
Nilsson ch. 12, [AdvS] HW2
11/1 Agents, Knowledge and Uncertainty Nilsson ch. 17-20 Project
11/8 Learning Agents; Machine Learning
(Guest Lecture by Prof. Lendaris, 6:15PM)
Nilsson ch. 3-4 HW3
11/15 Forward-Looking Agents: Scheduling and Planning Nilsson ch. 21-22  
11/20 Work Session
7:00PM, Fourth Avenue Building (FAB) 150
Topics: Homework, Project
11/22 Thanksgiving    
11/29 Final Topics
Conclusions and Review
12/6 Final Examination
7:30-9:00 PM

Last Modified: 2001/10/4