CS 343  Artificial Intelligence
Elaine Rich
Fall, 2006





TTh 3:30-5:00

TAY 2.106






Office Hours


Elaine Rich    


TAY 3.126                  

T, Th 2:00 - 3:30


Jonathan Mugan     


Taylor basement

T, Th 5:00 - 6:00

The Structure of the Class

The main topics that we will cover in class are:

  • Search techniques,
  • Knowledge representation and reasoning.

Cutting through all of these are two other areas that we need to discuss:

  • Applications of AI, and
  • Philosophical and other issues surrounding the attempt to build machines "like us"

In this class it will be very important that everyone come to class prepared to participate in the discussions. On the Schedule of Topics page, you will find a schedule for the semester (which will evolve as the semester progresses.  Don’t take it too seriously very far into the future.)  It will tell you which sections of the textbook you should have read before coming to class. It will also tell you which homework assignment will be collected in class.


  • Homeworks: 15%
  • Quizzes: 5%
  • Midterm Exam: 20%
  • Class Presentation: 10%
  • Project: 35%
  • Attendance: 10%
  • Class Participation: 5%

Notice that there will be a midterm exam but no final.


Homework assignments will be handed out every week or two during the first two thirds of the class.  You may work with other people to come up with answers to the homework problems, but each person must write up his or her own solutions.

Homeworks must be turned in at the beginning of class so that we can discuss them in class.  If you must miss a class, you may turn in your homework at my office prior to 3:15 on the day of class.  Late homework will incur a penalty of 20% per day.


There will be unannounced quizzes covering class and homework material. 

Class Presentation

We will devote most of the last third of the semester to short (aim for 10 minutes) student presentations.  I will ask everyone to pick a topic and a team and sign up for a date by the middle of the semester.  Part of the presentation grade will be based on signing up by the deadline.  You may want to look at my list of suggested topics.  I expect that most of the topics will focus on application areas, but some groups may also choose to discuss specific AI techniques.

Rules for the class presentation:

  • If your team has n members, each member of the team must present for approximately 1/nth of the time.
  • Your grade will be based on both the content and the effectiveness of your presentation. You are strongly advised to use Powerpoint and to exploit graphs, videos, and demos whenever possible.
  • I'll hand out copies of the grading checklist I'll use, so you'll know in advance exactly what the grading criteria will be.
  • In addition to making your presentation to the class, you should turn in a written report that summarizes your report and cites your sources. Each person on the team should turn in his/her own report, which should be between a half a page and a full page long.

Class Project

There will be one knowledge representation and reasoning project, which we will work on throughout the semester. It will stress three main topics:

  • Articulating the knowledge that is required to perform a task,
  • Representing that knowledge in a computationally effective way, and
  • Reasoning with the knowledge to perform the task.

The project will be done in teams. We will use KM, a knowledge representation and inference system developed in Bruce Porter's lab here at UT. We will start the project early in the semester and build on our earlier work as the semester progresses. You will be required to hand in your intermediate results at various points throughout the semester. The project segments must be turned in on time. Any late work will lose 20% credit per day that it is late.


Attendance and Class Participation


You need to come to class and participate.  Starting with the 4th class, there will a sign-in sheet at each class.  Assume there are n remaining classes.  Then 1/nth of the total attendance points will be deducted for each missed class.  If you must miss class for a legitimate reason, let me know as soon as possible.

Academic Integrity

Every piece of work you turn in for the class must be your original work, except as otherwise explicitly allowed by class policy.  See the class integrity policy for details of what this means.

Additional Class Policies

You should read CS Department Code of Conduct.  The policies described there will be followed in this class.