Text and Lecture Resources

Primary textbook: David Poole and Alan Mackworth, Artificial Intelligence: Foundations of Computational Agents,  free and online at http://artint.info/html/ArtInt.html. (You can also buy hardcopy, published by Cambridge University Press)

BerkeleyX CS 188x-2 Artificial Intelligence – Vanderbilt University: This is a “closed-Vanderbilt instance” of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that has been offered previously by U.C. Berkeley, and that represents about 6 weeks of regular AI course. It uses the edX learning management platform called Edge, and contains video lectures, quizzes (q), homeworks (h), and programming projects (p) in Python, together with auto-graders for q, h, and p. We will use this material for a large chunk of CS 260 towards the start and another large chunk towards the end. You will receive instructions by email on how to sign in.

The Grand Mind Challenge, Watson Edition “is a four week intercollegiate competition based on IBM Watson’s machine learning capabilities. The competition is structured to be included as a module in a technical course, where students develop an algorithm to identify correct answers in an IBM supplied data set. ”

“The Great Mind Challenge: Watson Edition 2013 is a great way for students to apply machine learning related concepts that they are learning in class to a cutting edge, real world use case around IBM’s ground-breaking Watson technology. The competition is a part of IBM’s initiative to promote critical technical skills in higher education, and machine learning is an essential skill for the new era in computing, cognitive systems like IBM Watson.”

This competition will occur between October 7 and November 8, and will consume much of the mid section of CS 260. All dates are listed here and embedded in the schedule.

August 27 – Faculty Q&A Session 1
August 30 – Registration Deadline
September 10 – Faculty Q&A Session 2
September 18 – Student Q&A Session 1
October 2 – Student Q&A Session 2
October 7 – Start of competition
November 8 – End of competition
November 14 – Awards / Winners Announced

Other materials: There are some solid AI lectures now online, and we will use them — you will be watching lectures and doing the readings before the respective class meetings. I have lectures online on Youtube ( http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWOFdpEfNuQP3O_JUiwhT8A?feature=mhee ) and may record more throughout the semester. We may make use of Norvig and Thrun lectures from their AI class (http://www.youtube.com/user/knowitvideos/videos?sort=da&view=0 ).  Interestingly, when I taught CS 260 from my office at the National Science Foundation (NSF)  in 2009, I looked for AI lectures online so that students could watch lectures before we met virtually through VSEE (http://www.vsee.com ) for discussion. At the time, the only online lectures in AI were from ITT Kharagpur  (http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD6E920E1084C7F52 ), and these are quite solid too. While they are standard hour long lectures (and I better like the short lecture snippets in the Khan Academy and MOOC style), I’ll nonetheless be including some of these videos, as well as others. In all cases, feel free to view lectures above and beyond that required.

As an aside, I’ve augmented my own lectures and in-class discussions by the online lectures of others in both machine learning and introduction to database systems previously, and my instructor ratings increased! I don’t expect that students will get less of my time, but more of it — we’ll be embracing and contributing to the World’s pedagogical resources for a better onsite experience. We are headed to a day, perhaps, when course design will be crowd-sourced through social networks, like many other intellectual activities. Thus, if you have thoughts on other resources, including those you have created, add them (or pointers to them) in comments, for subsequent incorporation.

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