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    CAP 5605 Artificial Intelligence
    Spring Semester 2010


This class has students attending in two modes:

  1. Mixed Mode (80% On-Line + 20% Classroom)
  2. Distance Learning (100% On-Line)

The content, objectives, assignments, assessments, and grading are the same for all students. Obviously, however, mixed mode 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 campus.fsu.edu portal page. Be sure to test this and resolve any difficulties no later than the first week of classes.

For mixed-mode students: Class (recitation) will be met and attendance is required. (See schedule details below.) All exams must be taken by appointment with the Student Assesment Center on the Panama City campus.

For on-line 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. (See COURSE POLICIES for details.)

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


Recitation  HOL B 302   Jan 6 - Apr 21 (excluding Mar 10)   Wed   6:30pm - 8:00pm (Central Time)


Instructor: Chris Lacher
Office:  A2110 Academic Center / Panama City Campus 
Office Phone (during office hours): 
(these all ring the same instrument)  
850-770-2256 (local direct line)
850-644-2090x2256 (local Tallahassee)
866-693-7872x2256 (toll free)
Mobile Phone & Voice Mail (24/7): 850-510-5575 
Email:  lacher[at]cs[dot]fsu[dot]edu
Mail & Delivery: Florida State University
4750 Collegiate Drive
Panama City, FL 32405-1099
Lacher Weekly Schedule Effective Jan 6 - Apr 30, 2010 (excluding Jan 18 and Mar 8-14)

COURSE RATIONALE: 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 a modern context mediated by factual history. The overall goals are for the student (1) to know what AI is, in the context of historically significant theories, technologies, and applications of AI; (2) to know what sorts of things AI is currently capable of doing; (3) to be able to realistically assess what the near-future potential of AI is; and (4) to have the knowledge and skills to become more expert in specific AI theory and technology.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: At the end of the course, the succesful student should possess the following knowledge and capabilities:

  • General knowledge of and the ability to discuss knowledgably, in both written and oral communication, the general topic of artificial intelligence (AI), especially its strengths and weaknesses as a component or technology used in the broader context of computer software.
  • Working knowledge of predicate calculus, its syntax and semantics, inference, and the unification algorithm.
  • Familiarity with the structures, strategies, and algorithms for state-space search, including data-driven, goal-directed, breadth-first, and depth-first state space search.
  • Understand and apply heuristic search, including the A* algorithm.
  • Be famiiarity with architectures for AI problem solving, including stacks, queues, priority queues, and production systems.
  • Working knowledge of AI programming languages, including Prolog and Lisp.
  • Knowledge representational mechanisms, including semantic networks and frames.
  • Understanding of knowledge-intensive system architectures, including rule-based, case-based, and model-based systems.
  • Understanding of issues underlying reasoning under uncertainty and knowledge of various approaches for dealing with uncertainty, including logics for non-monotonic reasoning, truth maintenance systems, and stochastic systems.
  • Understanding of the architectures, algorithms, and capabilities of various machine learning paradigms, including symbolic and connectionist methods.


The course COP 4530 is the explicitly stated prerequisites for CAP 5605. By transitivity, CDA 3101 and MAD 2104 are also prerequisites. It will be expected that students are familier with and conversant in the content of these courses, or their equivalents.


Grades will be assigned based on one midterm and one final exam, textbook homework exercises, programming assignments, and individual topical assignments (presenting background on, and leading a Blackboard discussion of, an individually assigned topic). Grading details are provided in the following tables 2 and 3. The exam schedule is shown in Table 1.

  Table 1: Exam Schedule
  Exam  Date    
  Midterm Exam   Wed Mar 3 - Mon Mar 8
  Final Exam   Wed Apr 28 - Mon May 3  
  Table 2: Course Grade 
  Item   Percentage
  Midterm Exam   30%
  Final Exam   40%
  Homework and Participation   10%
  Project and Presentation    20%
 Table 3: Letter Grades  
 Points [percent x 10]   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 
Note that grades below B- will not satisfy requirements for a graduate degree.


  • Blackboard system: http://campus.fsu.edu
  • Textbook: Artificial Intelligence (Sixth Edition) by George F Luger, Addison Wesley, 2009, ISBN = 9780321545893


Late Assignment Policy: The assignments, when turned in before or at the due date before midnight, will be graded. When turned in late, 5% will be deducted from the homework grade per day until the homework has been received, with a maximum extension of five days.

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:

  • If submitted prior to the day of the scheduled exam:
    • A written and signed explanation as to why the exam will missed. Illness or required professional travel are acceptable, while discretionary or personal travel are not. In any case the explanation should be accompanied by corroborating documentation, including names and contact information, and the explanation must be accepted by the instructor prior to missing the exam.
    • Evidence from a university official that you will miss the exam due to university sanctioned travel or extracurricular activity.
  • If submitted on or after the day of the scheduled exam:
    • A note from a physician, university dean, spouse, parent, or yourself indicating an illness or other extraordinary circumstance that prevented you from taking the exam and could not be planned for in advance. Again, corroborating information should be supplied.

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:

  • The final exam is missed with an accepted excuse for the absence. In this case, the final exam must be made up during the first two weeks of the following semester.
  • Due to an extended illness or other extraordinary circumstance, with appropriate documentation, the student is unable to participate in class for an extended period. In this case, arrangements must be made to make up the missed portion of the course prior to the end of the next semester.


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.

Complete explanation of the Academic Honor Code: http://www.fsu.edu/Books/Student-Handbook/codes/honor.html
The complete Student Handbook: http://www.fsu.edu/Books/Student-Handbook/

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:

  • For information specific to the Panama City Campus go to the FSUPC web page at http://www.pc.fsu.edu/ or call the Campus Hotline number 850-522-5555
  • For information related to FSU in general and the Tallahassee Campus go to the FSU alerts web page at http://www.fsu.edu/~alerts/
  • For state-wide and national information, go to the Florida Division of Emergency Management information pages at http://www.floridadisaster.org/

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.