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91.420/91.543 Artificial Intelligence, Fall 2011
Prof. Fred Martin, ⚠ (:html:)<a href="" onclick="'', '', 'toolbar=0,scrollbars=0,location=0,statusbar=0, menubar=0,resizable=0,width=500,height=300'); return false;" title="Reveal this e-mail address">click for fred's email</a>(:htmlend:)
Mon, 4:00p – 5:15 p, OS219

First meeting: Monday September 12 at 4 pm in Olsen 210a

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (3rd edition – 2009)
Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig
The web page says the book is recommended but not required;
3rd edition is preferred but any may be used.

As many of you may be aware, Stanford University is offering an innovative online version of their Artificial Intelligence course this fall.

The online course is open to anyone in the world, and will be delivered concurrently with Stanford's regular course for their own students. Lectures, problem sets, and exams will be made available online as the course unfolds. Cohort discussion groups will be available for online students. PSs completed and exams taken by online students will be graded and returned (automatically -- without human intervention), and at the end of the semester, a certificate of completion and a ranking with respect to other online students will be given. (Stanford credit will not be awarded.)

Information about Stanford's class is at; more than 100,000 students have registered. The course has been created and will be taught by two giants of the field: Sebastian Thrun, who is famous for his work in AI-based robotics (most recently, directing Google's autonomous car project), and Peter Norvig, who literally “wrote the book” as co-author of the most popular and best AI textbook, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (now in its third edition).

I am offering a directed study group for UMass Lowell students who wish to take this course. For UML credit, our version of the course will be based on you taking Stanford's course, and with extra work. Specifically, there will be reading and writing assignments during September (the online course begins on October 10), and I will require an original implementation project, demonstration to the department, and subsequent write-up. Please see my students' AI course projects from last fall for examples.

We will also have a required 75-minute per week face to face meeting. We will discuss and review material from the Stanford course each week. You will be expected to have studied each week's online material before our own meeting.


Grading will be determined by a weighted sum of your grades from the UML and Stanford portions of the class. The approximate weighting will be one-third UML material and two-thirds Stanford material.

UML material includes:

  • participation in the weekly face-to-face meeting and on our own discussion group.
  • a series of four weekly assignments from Sept 12 until the first day of the Stanford class (October 10).
  • an independent implementation project that employs ideas from AI developed in the class. The project will include original coding, a public demonstration to the UML community, and a conference-style writeup that includes literature review.

Stanford material includes:

  • online lectures.
  • problem sets.
  • quizzes.

See this movie for an informal discussion of the structure of the Stanford class:

(:youtube YuJwMoubGFk:)

Discussion Group / E-Mail List

We will use Google Groups for class conversation and announcements. Please join this group. I'd advise setting your preferences to immediate, individual delivery of messages—click the “Edit my membership” tab.

⚠ (:html:) <table style="border:1px solid #aa0033; font-size:small" align=center> <tr> <td rowspan=3> <img src="" height=58 width=150 alt="Google Groups"> </td> <td colspan=2 align=center><b>Subscribe to AI-fall2011-UML</b></td> </tr> <form action=""> <tr> <td>Email: <input type=text name=email></td> <td> <table style="background-color:#ffcc33;padding:2px;border:2px outset #ffcc33;"> <tr> <td> <input type=submit name="sub" value="Request"> </td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </form> <tr><td colspan=2 align=center> <a href="" target="new">Browse Archives</a> </td></tr> </table> (:htmlend:)

The group address is You have to be a member to send to the list.

Project Sequence

For undergraduates, 91.420 Artificial Intelligence can be grouped with 91.450 Robotics I to form a course pair.