CSC 244/444: Logical Methods in Artificial Intelligence

Instructor: Henry Kautz <>
Room 708/709 Computer Studies Building
Office hours: Mondays 1:30-2:30pm,
Wednesdays 11:15-12:00, and by appointment
Class meets: Monday & Wednesday 10:00-11:00pm, CSB 632
Textbooks: Knowledge Representation and Reasoning
R. Brachman & H. Levesque
Morgan Kaufmann, 2004

Artificial Intelligence, A Modern Approach (3nd Ed)
S. Russell & Peter Norvig
Prentice Hall, 2010
Note: Students who own the 2nd Ed. of the book need not buy the 3rd Ed.

Prerequisites: CSC 242 or permission of the instructor. CSC 173 recommended.
penguin cartoon

An introduction to the logical foundations of AI, including first-order logic, search, knowledge representation, and planning. Students taking this course at the 400 level are required to complete additional work.


Course Blackboard Home

Do not click this link if you are already in Blackboard!

Calendar of Classes and Assignments

Class is cancelled on the following dates because the professor will be out of town: Thursday Sept 9 and Thursday Sept 23.

Discussion Leader Schedule

Blackboard Class Discussion Board

While the professor will be glad to answer any questions you have, you will frequently find your peers to be an equally important resource in this class. A discussion forum is one more way for you to communicate with one another. Please visit the course's Blackboard Class Discussion Board to post your questions, answer to your peers, and participate in an active discussion about the material.

Blackboard Class Reserves

Some of the readings for the course are commercial publications. You will find them in Blackboard in the class Reserves section.


Programming assignments will be designed to be performed using Linux tools on the instructional computers. It is fine to work in another programming environment (for example, in Windows or Mac OS X on your own laptop), but you will be responsible for any modifying any files we supply as necessary. Some of the assignments will require learning and using the programming language Prolog, but in general, programming assignments may be completed using the programming language of your choice. Programming assignments will be graded on program correctness, program clarity (good style and documentation), and the quailty of write up of results.

Course Requirements and Grading

Written responses to readings (10%):
Weekly readings will be posted on the class website on Thursday to be due the following week. Associated with most readings will be questions that should be answered with concise, well-thought-out, coherent written responses by email to the instructor. The email should be in plain ascii text in the body of the email (not an attachment). Please use the subject line "class readings for [due date]". In some cases, no specific questions will be posted. In those cases, the responses should be free form. Credit will be based on evidence that you have done the readings carefully. Acceptable responses include (but are not limited to):
  • Insightful questions;
  • Clarification questions about ambiguities;
  • Comments about the relation of the reading to previous readings;
  • Critiques;
  • Thoughts on what you would like to learn about in more detail;
  • Possible extensions or related studies;
  • Thoughts on the reading's importance;
  • Answers to one or more of the exercises at the end of the chapter; and
  • Summaries of the most important things you learned.

These responses will be graded on a 10-point scale and graded mostly on coherence and evidence of careful thought (most questions will not have a single correct answer). Answers will be due by 10pm the night before the class the associated reading is due (Monday or Wednesday night). Responses received between then and 11a.m. on the class day will be deducted 1 point (for a maximum score of 9). Responses received between then and 11a.m. the following class day will be deducted 2 points (for a maximum score of 8). Responses received after that will be deducted 4 points (for a maximum score of 6). These deadlines are designed both to encourage you to do the readings before class and also to allow us to incorporate some of your responses into the class discussions.

Class participation (10%):
Students are expected to be present in class having completed the readings and participate actively in the discussions. Students taking the class as CSC 444 will be required to plan and lead one of the classes. Students will sign up for class leader slots during the third week of the course.
Programming and problem solving assignments (40%):
A series of assignments involving programming and/or written problem solving will be assigned throughout the semester. The assignments for CSC 444 students may contain extra tasks.
Midterm (15%):
A midterm exam will be given in class on Thursday October 21.
Quizes (5%)
There will be unannounced quizes during part of many classes. These quizes will help the instructor determine the pace of the course.
Final (20%):
The 90 minute final exam will be on Monday December 20th at 4:00pm in the regular classroom.

Class Policies

Late Assignments
If you turn in your assignment late, expect points to be deducted. For assignments other than reading responses, extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but in most cases they will not be granted.The greater the advance notice of a need for an extension, the greater the likelihood of leniency. A student who misses an examination, work assignment, or other project due to the observance of a religious holy day will be given an opportunity to complete the work missed within a reasonable time after the absence, provided that he or she has properly notified the instructor at least one week in advance of the holy day.
Academic Honesty
You are encouraged to discuss the readings and concepts with classmates, but all written work must be your own. Programming assignments must be your own except for 2-person teams when teams are authorized. All work ideas, quotes, and code fragments that originate from elsewhere must be cited according to standard academic practice. All cases of suspected dishonesty will be reported to the College Board on Academic Honesty in accordance with the university's academic honesty policy. Students guilty of cheating will fail the course and may face other penalties.
Accomodations for Students with Disabilities
We are committed to providing accomodations to students with disabilities. Please work with your Student Disabilty Coordinator to arrange for for appropriate accomodations for this class.
Tutoring Assistance
Students who are doing poorly in coursework are encouraged to get assistance as early as possible in the semester. Please talk to the instructor to arrange extra meetings with him as necessary. General academic help (e.g., strategies for studying for tests, working in teams, etc.) is also available from Learning Assistance Services at the College Center for Academic Support.
Registration Policies
Late registration is possible until September 29. Students may withdraw with no indication on their transcript until September 29. Students may withdraw with a "W" indication on their transcript until November 18. Students may switch from a letter grade to Satisfactory/Fail option by November 18.