CS 4600
Introduction to Intelligent Systems

Fall 2003
Section A
TTh 4:30p-6:00
Instructional Center
Room 117
Section B
TTh 8:00a-9:30
College of Computing Building
Room 101

Charles Isbell, isbell@cc.gatech.edu
380 Centennial Research Building, 385-4304
Office Hours: TBA

Patrick Yaner, yaner@cc.gatech.edu
Office Hours: MW 10:30-12:00
CRB 391 by default, CCB Picnic Area by prior appt.

Steve Marlowe, smarlowe@cc.gatech.edu
Office Hours: TTh 3:15-4:15
CRB 367 by default, CCB Picnic Area by prior appt.

General Information

Introduction to Intelligent Systems is a three-credit undergraduate course on Artificial Intelligence. The class is called Introduction to Intelligent Systems instead of Introduction to Artificial Intelligence to emphasize that we intend to approach AI from the point of view of building intelligent agents, environments and systems. In particular, you will learn about the methods and tools that will allow you to build complete systems that can interact intelligently with their environment by learning and reasoning about the world.


There are three primary objectives for the course:

In practice, you should develop enough basic skills and background that you can pursue any desire you have to learn more about specific areas in IS, whether those areas are planning, knowledge representation, machine learning, vision, robotics or whatever.


Someone once said that the trick to doing AI is coming up with a good representation. That's not quite all there is to it, but it's close enough, so to succeed at this class, you should know a bit about data structures and algorithms. At the very least, you will have to be able to read pseudocode and understand basic algorithms as they are presented to you. As the semester continues, it turns out that a familarity with basic probability theory will also be very useful; however, we will spend some time on that in class in order to refresh your memory. Finally, you should feel pretty comfortable programming on your own. At least two of the projects will be in LISP, and one will almost certainly be in C.

Having said all that, the most important prerequisite for enjoying and doing well in this class is your interest in the material. That sounds vaguely corny I'm sure, but in the end it will be your own motivation to understand the material that gets you through it more than anything else.

If you are not sure whether this class is for you, please talk to me.


Readings. The textbook for the course is the second edition of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach by Russell and Norvig. The second edition is relatively new, and there are significiant differences between it and the first edition, so be sure to have the right edition. We will follow the textbook quite closely (although time will not permit us to cover all of the chapters), so it is imperative that you have a copy of the book. We will occasionally use supplemental readings as well, but those will be provided for you.

Computing. You will have access to CoC clusters for your programming assignments. You can use whatever machines you want to do the work; however, the final result will have to run on the standard CoC boxes. Exactly what this means will be spelled out on each assignment. This shouldn't be much of a restriction for you.

Web. We will use the class web page to post last minute announcements, so check it early and often. Aside from that, if you want to learn more about intelligent systems or artificial intelligence, you can find an enormous amount just by typing in keywords in google (or whatever your favorite search engine is). One good place to start is with AI on the Web. It's also worth pointing out that Georgia Tech enjoys one of the largest IS groups around and our interests are quite broad, so surfing faculty web pages can also be enlightening.


I reserve the right to modify any of these plans as need be during the course of the class; however, I won't do anything capriciously, anything I do change won't be too drastic, and you'll be informed as far in advance as possible.