CS465/CS565: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Fall 2020

Department of Computer Science
SUNY Binghamton

Time: Tuesday, Thursday 10:05 AM - 11:30 AM
Dates of Classes: 8/26/2020 - 12/7/2020
Classroom: Distance Learning

Schedule and resources: link (editable)

Instructor Contact Information

Shiqi Zhang
Office hours: Tuesdays, 1-3 PM, or by appointment (please email me before the visit, virtual or in person)
Location: Zoom at ``https://binghamton.zoom.us/my/zhangs'' (preferred), or Engineering Building (EB) N12
Phone: 607-777-4355 (email is preferred)
Email: zhangs@bing...

TA Contact Information

Xiaohan Zhang
Office hours: Wednesdays 1-3 PM
Location: Zoom at ``https://binghamton.zoom.us/j/9953067186 ''
Email: xzhan244@bing...

Course Description

This course will cover the basic ideas and techniques underlying the design of artificial intelligence (AI) agents. Topics include search, knowledge representation, planning, reasoning under uncertainty, machine learning (including reinforcement learning), and applications (such as vision and robotics).

There is no generally accepted definition of "artificial intelligence." Some that have been proposed include:

  • The science of getting computers to do the things they can't do yet.
  • Finding fast algorithms for NP-hard problems.
  • Getting computers to do the things they do in the movies.

Main topics:

  • Search: uninformed search, heuristic search, A* search, minimax, expectimax, classical planning
  • Reasoning: logics, Markov processes, MDPs, hidden Markov models, particle filters, and SLAM
  • Learning: reinforcement learning, naive Bayes, perceptrons, kernels, and clustering

Credit Hours and Contact Hours

  • Credit hours: 3.0
  • Contact hours: 3.0

This course is a 3-credit course, which means that in addition to the scheduled meeting times, students are expected to do at least 6 hours of course-related work outside of class each week during the semester. This includes time spent completing assigned readings, participating in lab sessions, studying for tests and examinations, preparing written assignments, and other course-related tasks.


Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach
By Russell and Norvig
Publisher: Pearson
Note: You need the 3rd Edition (Blue cover).

Grading Policy

  • Participation: 5%
    • Students are expected to be present in class participating actively in the discussions, help other students by asking/answering questions, and provide feedback to the instructor and TA.

  • Programming Projects: 25%
    • There will be four Python programming projects in which you will implement AI algorithms. Students can work on projects individually, or in two-student teams. Students will upload solutions onto Blackboard.

  • Homework Assignments: 25%
    • There will be four homeworks assigned throughout the whole semester. Students will upload solutions onto Blackboard.

  • Midterm: 20%
    • A midterm exam will be given in class (closed book).

  • Final: 25%
    • A final exam will be given during the final exam week (date and time to be determined, closed book, and comprehensive).

Relation with ABET

  • Student Outcome 3 (Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements in the context of the program's discipline): Programming projects require students to design, implement, and evaluate computing-based solutions in the context of artificial intelligence.
  • Exposure to information management: This course is a designated course for this requirement.

Discussion Forum

While the instructor and the TA would be glad to answer any questions you have, students would frequently find their peers to be an equally important resource in this class. When one posts a question or an observation on the class forum, he/she is not only helping himself/herself, but also indirectly helping all other students. Activities in the discussion forum are considered to be a kind of class participation.

Please sign up to read/post on our class piazza page.


Binghamton University has a legal and ethical responsibility to ensure the provision of appropriate auxiliary aids, services and accommodations that afford enrolled students with disabilities equal access to, and participation in, all institutional programs and activities. The goal of academic accommodation is to facilitate equitable access to course-related activities and ensure that evaluations measure student achievement rather than unnecessarily reflecting the impact of a disability.

Students are expected to take an active role in informing faculty of authorized accommodations, and collaborating with them to insure effective arrangements. Students who believe they require disability-related support services or accommodations to participate on an equal basis with their class colleagues should follow the procedures outlined in "Disability Documentation Guidelines and Procedures for Requesting Academic Accommodations" on SSD's webpage under "Current Students".

More information is available here.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

Like all universities, Binghamton University depends on the honesty and integrity of its faculty, staff and students to carry out its academic mission. To fulfill this mission, every member of the Binghamton University community is charged with upholding the Code of Academic Honesty. Actions that breach the Code erode the trust of those who look to universities for honest evaluations of academic work arrived at through honest processes. Violations also may cause individual harm, including under- and over-evaluations of performance as well as inaccurate reports of performance to post-graduate schools, professional societies and employers. With so much at stake, collectively and individually, Binghamton University views conduct in keeping with the traditions of academic honesty and integrity as the obligation of all members of the faculty, staff and student body.

More information is available here.

Managing Stress

If you are experiencing undue personal or academic stress at any time during the semester or need to talk with someone about a personal problem or situation, I encourage you to seek support as soon as possible. I am available to talk with you about stresses related to your work in my class. Additionally, a wide range of campus resources is available to provide help, including:

Any questions? Do not hesitate to send an email to the instructor.