Department of Math & Computer Science
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
From ACM SIGART Bulletin Special Issue on AI Education, Kumar & Hearst (editors), Volume 6, Number 2, April 1995
A selective survey of key concepts and applications of artificial intelligence, and an in-depth experience with a language commonly used for building AI systems (e.g., Lisp or Prolog).
Subtopics include knowledge representation, state space searching, heuristic search, expert systems, expert system shells, natural language processing, propositional logic and cognitive models, and vision.
Students will implement, modify, or enhance several AI systems using an AI language and associated tools (e.g., expert system shells, knowledge acquisition tools).
AL1--AL3, AI1, AI2, PL11, SE1, SE2, Discrete Mathematics [page 71, Tucker, A., ed. 1991]. The only Knowledge Unit (KU) in the prerequisites which bears on AI is PL11, a Programming Paradigms KU described thus:
AI Background: Because AI involves knowledge of such things as philosophy, cognitive science, linguistics, psychology, logic, etc, undergraduate students rarely have enough of a background to tackle AI problems without at least rehearsing such material. But if one is not careful, one can spend a great deal of time teaching the background knowledge to AI rather than AI itself. But some background is unavoidable. One must balance the additional time the background to a topic takes against the merits of the topic itself.
Philosophical Matters: Is it really intelligence, or just a simulation? Is it still AI if we know how to do it? Is our approach motivated by cognition? We should not be concerned with these matters in introductory AI. Such matters are best dispatched in short order; there is little enough time for the meat of AI. We favour a view of AI which is neutral on such issues.
Formalism: Formalism is an essential aspect of AI, and indeed, of many advanced learning domains. AI students should therefore be exposed to it and have its importance, at the advanced level, impressed upon them. But most undergraduate CS students are not gifted mathematicians nor formalists, and so the use of formalism should be limited.
History: Students should be exposed to a brief history of AI, though this is no doubt best intermixed with the course, rather than treating it as a separate topic. Some coverage of classical AI programs should be included.
Tucker, A., ed. 1991: Computing Curricula 1991: Report of the ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Curriculum Task Force. ACM Inc., 1991.
Bryn Mawr College (BMC) is a small women's liberal arts college located 11 miles west of Philadelphia. The college has about 1200 undergraduates and 500 graduate students in sixteen degree programs. The Computer Science program at BMC is currently being developed in cooperation with Haverford College. The bi-college computer science program currently consists of three CS faculty and several affiliates from other departments. The current enrollment in computer science is about 25 students some of which are pursuing interdisciplinary degrees in cognitive science.
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