CMSC 671 -- Fall 2005
Who, what and where
This course will serve as an introduction to artificial intelligence concepts
and techniques. We will use the Lisp programming language
as a computational vehicle for exploring the techniques and their application.
Specific topics we will cover include the history and philosophy of AI,
Lisp, the agent
paradigm in AI systems, search, game playing, knowledge representation
and reasoning, logical reasoning, planning,
uncertain reasoning and Bayes nets, multi-agent systems, and machine learning.
permits, we may also briefly touch on robotics, perception,
CMSC 341 and strong programming skills. CMSC 441 or exposure to the theory
of complexity of algorithms will also be useful.
You should know the fundamentals of propositional and first-order logic, probability
theory, and big-O complexity analysis.
A pretest will be given to assess your familiarity with this material.
When and Where
Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30-12:45 in AC IV 013.
mariedj @ cs.umbc.edu
Office Hours: Tuesday 1-2, Wednesday 11-12
and course schedule are subject to change. We will follow the Russell
and Norvig textbook fairly closely, with some additional background material
on Lisp and other topics of interest.
We will be using the following:
A Modern Approach, 2/e, Stuart J. Russell and Peter Norvig. Prentice Hall,
2002. ISBN: 0137903952. List price $84, hardback. The website for this
book has links to many useful online AI/Lisp resources.
ANSI Common Lisp, Paul Graham. Prentice Hall, 1995. ISBN:
0-13-370875-6. List price: $47, paperback.
Optional reference book
Lisp : The Language, Guy L. Steele, Jr. Digital Press, 1990. ISBN:
1555580416. List price $56.95, paperback. Text available online at
is the reference manual for Common Lisp. Not required for the course,
and most of you will find the online version sufficient as a resource,
but handy to own if you like real books.
As you will learn, I am a strong believer in two-way communication. I expect
all students to participate in classroom discussions, both by asking questions
and by expressing opinions.
In return, I will make myself available to answer questions, listen
to concerns, and talk to any student about topics related to the class
(or not). I welcome your feedback throughout the semester
about how the course is going.
In addition to regular office hours, I maintain an open-door policy:
you should feel to stop by to ask questions, or just say hello, whenever
my door is open (which it generally will be unless I am out of the office,
in a meeting, or deep in thought). (I'm not that great at remembering names,
so please don't be offended if I ask you several times to re-introduce
yourself!) I will also make a concerted effort to answer e-mail within
Course grades will be based on the following work. The final weighting
may be changed slightly.
|Homework (six biweekly assignments)
Please refer to the class grading
There will be six homework assignments. The homework assignments will
have a mix of written and programming components. Each assignment will
have a due date and is expected to be turned in on time. Extensions of
up to one week may be granted on an individual basis, if requested in advance. Repeated requests for extensions,
or requests for extensions at the last minute, will be denied other than
in extraordinary circumstances.
Homeworks will be due at the beginning of class on the due date. A
late homework will be applied as follows:
0 to 24 hours late: 25% penalty
24 to 48 hours late: 50% penalty
48 to 72 hours late: 75% penalty
More than 72 hours late: no credit will be given
Please do not walk into class 20 minutes late and expect your homework to
be counted as on time. Homeworks (both written and programming assignments)
must be handed in as hardcopy,
with Lisp code
also submitted electronically using the submit program
on the gl machines. If for some exceptional reason (printer problems, traffic
illness) you are
unable to submit a hardcopy on time, you may submit your homework electronically,
with a hardcopy delivered as soon as is reasonably possible.
There will be one in-class midterm examination and a final examination. The material
covered by the exams will be drawn from assigned readings in the text,
from lectures, and from the homework. Material from the readings that is
not covered in class is fair game, so you are advised to keep up with the
This course adheres to the Provost's statement on academic integrity:
"By enrolling in this course,
each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UMBC's
scholarly community in which everyone's
academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty. Cheating,
fabrication, plagiarism, and helping others to commit these acts are all forms
of academic dishonesty, and they are wrong. Academic misconduct could result
in disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, suspension
or dismissal. To read the full Student Academic Conduct Policy, consult the
UMBC Student Handbook, the Faculty Handbook, or the UMBC Policies section of
the UMBC Directory."
Cheating in any form will not be tolerated. All work submitted must be your own
work, and use of any outside sources or help must be clearly documented. The
penalty for violation of the class policy on academic honesty will be, at a minimum,
a zero on the entire assignment. All students must read the course academic
honesty policy and sign a statement saying that they have read and understood
We will be using CLISP, a public-domain
implementation of Common Lisp that is installed on the department's Unix
machines (/usr/local/bin/clisp). You can also download a version that will
run on a PC (but not a Mac), under Linux or Windows.
671 mailing list
You should subscribe to the class mailing list by sending a message to
firstname.lastname@example.org with the line:
subscribe cs671 Your Name
Class announcements, hints, and discussion of assignments will be posted
on this list. You can also send messages to the list to ask questions of
your fellow students and/or TA and professor.
General questions (i.e., anything that another student may also be wondering
about) should be sent to the list, so that everyone will be able to benefit
from the answers. Students are welcome to post answers to questions, even
if the questions were directed at the instructor. However, the academic integrity
policy above must be strictly adhered to. Clarifications of homework questions
and pointers to useful resources are fine; answers (or even hints at answers)
to homework questions are not. When in doubt, ask the professor.
requests for extensions, questions about individual grades, and the
should be sent directly to Prof. desJardins.
Thanks to Tim Finin (UMBC), Berthe Choueiry (University of Nebraska
- Lincoln), and Daphne Koller (Stanford University) for making their course
materials publicly available on the web. Some of the course materials (slides
and homeworks) have been adapted from those sources.