CS 540, Spring 2015: Assignment 1 (Half)

Due by Thursday 1/29 at noon MST

The purpose of this assignment is to introduce yourself and to start to familiarize yourself with research papers in artificial intelligence. In the course of the semester, you will likely find it valuable to read research papers to get ideas on how to do your programming assignments.

Because this assignment does not include a programming component, it will be worth 50% of a regular assignment.

Part 1: Introduction to Instructor and Colleagues [20 pts]

In my experience, everyone gains by having an interactive experience. To expedite that, you need to introduce yourself to the instructor and the class as follows:
  • Arrange a 5 minute meeting with the instructor sometime before the due date. The purpose is to enable me to put a face and voice to a name. It helps if I know something about you and your interest in the course. You can also use the time to start to brainstorm about project ideas. For distance students, we can talk on the telephone or via skype.
  • Introduce yourself to the rest of the class on the discussion board on CANVAS (the RamCT replacement). A thread called "Introductions" has been set up for this purpose. Provide your name and at least one other "byte" of information, e.g., why you are taking the course, what your passion is, the most unusual thing you have ever done, a photo of your pet... whatever.

Part 2: Reading a Research Paper [80 pts]

This course will both encourage and require you to read scholarly research papers in the subareas of AI covered in this course, e.g., search, evolutionary algorithms, data mining, planning, scheduling and agents. To get you started, you will read a paper intended for an audience with a general background in AI:

This paper presents and discusses a wide variety of AI techniques used to support real-time game strategy. It is written to be accessible to a general AI audience and refers to areas of AI that we will be covering in this course. You need to write a critique of the article. The critique should be about 2 pages in length. It should start by summarizing the central ideas of the paper (do not simply paraphrase the abstract or starting sentences in sections!) Then it should comment on what you thought was the contribution of the research described in the paper and what were its strengths and weaknesses. If you think the paper was missing critical details or could have been improved with more information on some aspect, state it. If you cannot find anything to improve, then say what they did well. Show that you understood what they were trying to convey.

Some memos/papers that may help in figuring out what should be in the critique are:

What to hand in

You can submit your critique in CANVAS. The file should be in pdf. It should be named as YourLastNameA1.pdf. Your critique should:
  1. be about two pages in length (without using ridiculous spacing),
  2. have been proof-read and run through a spell checker,
  3. reflect some thought,
  4. support your points with evidence wherever possible.