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    CAP 4601 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
    Fall Semester 2004


This class has students attending in two distinct modes:

  1. Traditional On-Campus (section 1)
  2. Distance Learning (sections 2,3,4,5)

The content, objectives, assignments, assessments, and grading are the same for all students. Obviously, however, on-campus and distance students sometimes participate in different ways.

For all students: Regular participation via the Blackboard course interface is required. Official course announcements, lecture materials, assignments, and help archives will all be on-line at this site. Note that all registered students should have the course web site listed on their My FSU portal page. Be sure to test this and resolve any difficulties no later than the first week of classes.

For on-campus students: Class (lecture and recitation) will be met and attendance is required. (See schedule details below.) All exams will be given in class during scheduled class time.

For off-campus/distance students: All exams must be proctored and taken during the exam window. It is the student's responsibility to arrange for proctored exams in compliance with the FSU standards. Go to the URL http://online.fsu.edu/learningresources/proctoredexam/ for details.

Note that students may be required to identify themselves with official FSU ID to sit an exam.


Lecture   TEC 128   Aug 26 - Dec 9 (excluding Nov 11 and Nov 25)   Thu   5:00pm - 7:30pm (Central Time)


There will be two exams: a midterm exam and a final exam. The dates for the two exams are shown in the following table.

Exam Calendar
Exam On-Campus     Distance Window (Inclusive)    
Midterm Exam     Thu Oct 14 Fri Oct 15 - Mon Oct 18
Final Exam Thu Dec 9 Sat Dec 4 - Tue Dec 7


Chris Lacher, Faculty
Responsibilities: Lead Instructor, Course Supervisor, On-Site Instruction  
Office: 112 Faculty Annex B / Panama City Campus 
Office Phone (during office hours): 850-522-5502 or 850-644-2090 ext 251 
Mobile Phone/Voice Mail (24/7): 850-510-5575 
Email:  lacher@cs.fsu.edu
Mail & Delivery: Florida State University
4750 Collegiate Drive
Panama City, FL 32405-1099
Lacher Weekly Schedule Effective Aug 23 - Dec 10, 2004 (excluding Nov 11 and Nov 24-26)
Robert Silva , Associate Faculty
Responsibilities: Associate Instructor, On-Line Instruction, On-Line Mentor 
Phone (during office hours):     239-437-1808 
Office Hours:MWF 7:00 - 8:00pm eastern
Sun 3:00 - 5:00pm eastern
Email:  rsilva@fsu.edu


Artificial Intelligence, A Modern Approach, Second Edition, by Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig, Prentice Hall, 2003 (ISBN 0-13-790395-2).


The course COP 4530 is the explicit prerequisite for CAP 4601. Of course this means that the entire prerequisite tree rooted at COP 4530 is required. These prerequisites will be enforced. Students not meeting the prerequisite requirements will be dropped from the class.


Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a very large subject with roots dating at least 900 years before Aristotle. In modern times, it is perhaps the most widely used and mis-used term in all of Computing, popular for solving difficult real problems and equally popular as a support vehicle for science fiction.

This course introduces the student to the breadth of AI in the modern context of Intelligent Agents. The overall goal is for the student to know what AI is, what sorts of things AI is currently capable of doing, what the realistic near-future potential of AI is, and how to become more expert in specific AI theory and technology.


The course will address the following topics:


At the end of this course, the student should have the following skills and capabilities.


The overall grade for CAP 4601 is an average of three parts: Midterm Exam (30%), Final Exam (40%), and Assignments (30%). Assignments consist of approximately ten (ten) exercises/problem sets that will be assigned in parallel with the course coverage in the Course Calendar. The dates for the two exams are shown in the Exam Calendar above.

Assignments will count 30% of the course grade, the midterm another 30%, and the final exam the remaining 40%, as shown in Table 1 below. The final course grade will be determined using Table 2.

     Table 1: Course Points (tenths of one percent) 
     Item   No of Items    Total 
     Assignments   Approximately 10   300 
     Midterm Exam   1   300 
     Final Exam   1   400 
    Total Points:    1000 
     Table 2: Letter Grades  
     Points   Grade 
     925 - 1000   A 
     900 - 924   A- 
     875 - 899   B+ 
     825 - 874   B 
     800 - 824   B- 
     775 - 799   C+ 
     725 - 774   C 
     700 - 724   C- 
     675 - 699   D+ 
     625 - 674   D 
     600 - 624   D- 
     0 - 599   F 

Late Assignments: To receive full credit, assignments must be turned in by midnight Eastern Time on the due date. An assignment that is turned in no more than 24 hours late will be scored with a 10% penalty. An assignment that is turned in more than 24 and no less than 48 hours late will be scored with a 20% penalty. An assignment that is turned in more than 48 hours late will receive the score of zero (0).


First Day Attendance Policy: Official university policy is that any student not attending the first class meeting will be automatically dropped from the class. For distance students, this policy is interpreted as posting to the discussion forum "First Day Attendance" no later than the first day of the semester.

Regular Attendance Policy: The university requires attendance in all classes. Attendance in distance classes shall mean regular access to the course web site via campus.fsu.edu and regular participation in the class discussion forums. Here, "regular" shall mean a substantial amount of time on a weekly basis. Note that individual access statistics are maintained by Blackboard.

Proctored Exam Policy: All exams must be proctored and taken at an approved testing site during the exam window or in class on the designated date. It is the student's responsibility to arrange for proctored exams in compliance with the FSU standards. Go to http://online.fsu.edu/learningresources/proctoredexam/ for details.

Exam Makeup Policy: An exam missed without an acceptable excuse will be recorded as a grade of zero (0). The following are the only acceptable excuses:

All excuses must be submitted in writing, must be signed by the excusing authority, and must include complete contact information for the authority, including telephone numbers and address.

Missed exams with acceptable excuse will be made up or assigned the average grade of all other exams, at the option of the course instructor.

Missed, and acceptably excused, final exams will result in the course grade of 'I' and must be made up in the first two weeks of the following semester.

Grade of 'I' Policy: The grade of 'I' will be assigned only under the following exceptional circumstances:


All students are expected to uphold the Academic Honor Code published in The Florida State University Bulletin and the Student Handbook. The Academic Honor System of The Florida State University is based on the premise that each student has the responsibility (1) to uphold the highest standards of academic integrity in the student's own work, (2) to refuse to tolerate violations of academic integrity in the university community, and (3) to foster a high sense of integrity and social responsibility on the part of the university community.

web site for a complete explanation of the Academic Honor Code.

In particular, note that students may not give or receive help of any kind on programming projects. This means, among other things, that students are not permitted to read each others code (on paper OR on screen) or discuss design or implementation of programming projects with anyone other than the instructional personnel. Violations of this policy will result in the grade of zero for all parties involved.


Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should: (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; (2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be done during the first week of class.

For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the

Student Disability Resource Center
Dean of Students Department
08 Kellum Hall
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4400
(850) 644-9566 (voice)
(850) 644-8504 (TDD)

(This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.)


Information regarding the status of FSU in an emergency situation may be obtained from the following sources:

Any specific information related to this class will be posted on the course web site or sent via email to your fsu email address.


This syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice. Such notice will be in the form of an announcement to the course web site on My FSU.