Syllabus for CS 480: Artificial Intelligence Spring 2018

Professor: Dr. Alan Garvey

Section 01: MWF 12:30-1:20pm

Office Hours

Contact Information:


Catalog Copy

Overview of some basic concepts of artificial intelligence. Designed to give insight into areas of active research and application. Programming in a language commonly used for artificial intelligence applications. Typical topics covered include expert systems, knowledge engineering, learning, natural language understanding, symbolic computation, automated reasoning, and neural networks.

This course counts toward the required 63 LAS hours. This course can be counted toward Truman's interdisciplinary minor in Cognitive Science (as well as toward the Computer Science minor).

Discussion of AI as a Liberal Arts Course


The prerequisite for this class is (CS 170 or CS 180) and junior status. I will assume that you have experience with programming a computer. For this class we will use the Python programming language. Some of you know this language, some of you don't. I will teach the class assuming you don't know the language, but, even for those of you who are familiar with it, the subset of Python that we will use is not the same as that taught in CS 170. This is a 400-level computer science class and I will expect you to be able to learn things on your own outside of class, as well as keep up with material that is presented at a fairly rapid pace in class.

Course Objectives

  1. Broadly understand what artificial intelligence is, what it might mean for a machine to be "intelligent" and perhaps gain some insight into human intelligence.
  2. Explore techniques often used in the building of AI systems, such as search, logic, planning, machine learning and neural networks.
  3. Write programs in Python to explore some of the major AI approaches.
  4. In a team, choose an interesting AI problem and be able to determine an appropriate representation and approach for solving it.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is your responsibility. I understand that you will occasionally have to miss class. However, whether you are in class or not you will be responsible for all deadlines and all materials taught or assigned. Graded activities such as tests, quizzes, in-class projects, etc. . . may not be made up. Exceptions to this will be at my discretion and must be arranged with me before the missed class. Be aware that in class I will cover significant amounts of material that is not covered by the textbook.



Anyone submitting work to be graded which, in my estimation and beyond reasonable doubt, is not his or her work alone will receive an F. No group work is allowed unless I explicitly indicate that you can work in groups. When you do hand in group work, you must always indicate that it is group work and who was involved in it. You are welcome to discuss assignments with anyone, but all work you hand in must be your own. Corrolary: If you provide work you produce to others, you are aiding and abetting their dishonesty and thus being dishonest yourself. Providing your work to others or giving answers to others is not acceptable.

ADA Statement

If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Disability Services office (x4478) as soon as possible.

Reporting Statement

As an instructor, I have a mandatory reporting responsibility under Title IX federal statutes. I am required to share information with Truman administration officials regarding sexual misconduct or information about a crime that may have occurred on Truman's campus. Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting University Counseling Services at 660-785-4014 during business hours, or 660-665-5621 for after-hours crisis counseling.