CSC 440 - Artificial Intelligence

Centenary College of Louisiana
Wright Building Fishbowl Lab 105
TR 8:20-9:35 - Fall 2010

Instructor: Dr. Mark Goadrich

Contact Info
104 Wright Building
(318) 869-5194

Office Hours
MWF 10-12
TR 10-11
or by appointment

Overview | Syllabus | Homework | Projects | Exams | Grading

Course Details


Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (3rd edition)
by Stuart Russell, Peter Norvig, 2010
UC Berkeley, California
ISBN: 978-0137903955
Find this book at Amazon


This course will provide an introduction to artificial intelligence. In particular, we will be taking an empirical approach: how can we have a computer act rationally? We will study both local and global search techniques for problem solving, automated logical reasoning, statistical machine learning, and complex adaptive systems.

This course will require experience in programming equivalent to that from CSC 207 and 234. You may program the solutions in the language of your choice (Python or Java).


CSC 234 or permission of instructor.

Quizzes and Participation

You are encouraged to attend class and participate in discussions. Active participation in class discussions and short quizzes will comprise 5% of your final grade.

You will be expected to sign up for a Twitter account and use it regularly to post status updates about the class and your progress in labs and projects with the #csc440 hashtag.

Extra Credit

Extra credit for this course can be earned by participating in the Centenary Math Problem of the Week (POTW). Each reasonable submission will be worth an additional 0.5% toward your final grade, CC me with your submission for credit.


Centenary assures students with disabilities equal opportunity to reach the same level of achievement as other students. Strict confidentiality will be maintained on students with disabilities. Services for students with disabilities are available through the Counseling Center, located on the ground floor of Rotary Residence Hall, phone (318) 869-5424.

Honor Code

All students are bound by the Honor System. The Honor System is applicable to all academic work. See the Centenary College Handbook for the complete Honor Code.


Extensions and rescheduling for labs, projects, exams and quizzes are only given when circumstances beyond your control (e.g. being sick, choir or sports travel) prevent you from completing a project on time. You must notify me either by email or phone of your circumstances well in advance of the due date. No extensions are given for requests made within three days of the due date.


We will be covering pieces of the textbook, Chapters 1-5, 7-9 and 18, 19, 21, 25-27. We will also be using additional supplemental material such as relevant web-pages and background material. Readings will be assigned before material will be covered in class. You are expected to review the material and come to class prepared. As additional readings are assigned, they will be posted here.


You will have small Homeworks in this course, one about every two weeks, for a total of 37% of your final grade. These homeworks will cover concepts we have discussed in class, and will be due approximately two to three weeks after they are assigned.

You may work individually on these homeworks or in small groups of no more than 2. You may discuss concepts and ideas with other classmates, but the code you turn in must be your own. You will be graded not only on correctness, but also technique, documentation and evaluation of your solution. Further details on the grading standards for each project will be given when they are assigned.


The purpose of this project is to improve your research, writing and communication skills as well as give you an opportunity to explore in-depth a particular area of artificial intelligence, especially how it can be applied to other domains. You will gain a grasp of the state-of-the-art artificial intelligence research in your particular topic and share this with the rest of the class through a paper / web-page and a presentation.

More details of the project will be posted here as the semester progresses. Final presentations will be on Monday, December 13th at 8-11am.


There will be three take-home exams, each worth 11% your final grade.


Your final grade for this course will be based on the Homework, Project, Exams and Participation described above.
Grading Scale
Exam 111%
Exam 211%

© Mark Goadrich, Centenary College of Louisiana