About the Instructor
CSC 261 Artificial Intelligence Fall 2009

What questions about the class do you have that aren't answered by the Web site?

Why not C?
There are two major reasons. First, I want you focused on concepts, rather than segmentation faults. Scheme lends itself to this much better than C. Were CSC 207 a prerequisite, I may have used Java, but alas, that is not the case. The second reason, is many of the algorithms we will be studying can be very elegantly explored and developed in Scheme. Your ability to think in many paradigms should be enhanced by this experience, and that, I feel, is all the better.
Why is successful completion of all expectations only result in a grade of 90%?
Very roughly, this corresponds to an A-. The college's grading system, as defined in the course catalog, says this is for "Excellent" work. My philosophy is that truly excellent work exceeding expectations is deserving of an A. Simply meeting expectations is at best an A-. I encourage you to knock my socks off (metaphorically). It's more interesting for me and more fun for you.
If non medical unexpected circumstances come up less than 7 days before a class, will we receive an unexcused absence regardless of notification?
Not necessarily. You should always let me know whenever you need to miss class, if you can. I will use my discretion as to whether it constitutes an unexcused absence.
What format will the exams take?
This isn't perfectly clear yet, but you will not be asked to write Scheme. I prefer to address the fundamental conceptual issues we are trying to tackle. Thus, you may be asked to make comparisons and applications in new contexts. For the most part, this will take "short" answer form (from a sentence to a page).
Submitting assignments seems to be a long and complicated process that requires much attention to detail. Will we receive any confirmation that our assignments have been received?
I welcome any script-whizzes that may want to produce something to automate the process better.

Since you will submit hard-copies in class, that is one confirmation (it ends up in my folder). PioneerWeb should show you whether you have successfully uploaded a submission for a particular assignment.

Are the assignments mostly going to be solo work (like this one) or partner work (like in CS 151 and 161)?
I think it will be mostly partnered assignments.
Jerod Weinman
Created 1 September 2009
Revised 22 January 2009