Welcome to CS472 Foundations of Artificial Intelligence!

Who, When, Where?

Where: Olin Hall, Room 155
When: 11:15am-12:05am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Professor: Claire Cardie
TAs: Alexa Sharp, Kamal Aboul-Hosn, Eric Holmberg-Weidler, Andrew Kae
Office hours and contact information can be found on the personnel page
Final Exam: Tuesday, December 14, 12-2:30pm, Phillips 101 (closed-book, comprehensive)

Course Description

This course introduces the theoretical and computational techniques that serve as a foundation for the study of artificial intelligence (AI). Topics to be covered include the following:

  • Introduction of AI and background: What is AI? Related fields
  • Problem solving by search: principles of search, uninformed (“blind”) search, informed (“heuristic”) search, genetic algorithms, game playing
  • Learning: inductive learning, concept formation, decision tree learning, statistical approaches, neural networks
  • Knowledge representation and reasoning: knowledge bases and inference; constraint satisfaction; planning; theorem-proving; Bayesian networks
  • Natural language understanding: syntactic processing, ambiguity resolution, text understanding


This course has no prerequisites other than a facility with programming (e.g., CS211 or CS312) and the basic mathematical skills obtained in CS280. An understanding of inference in first-order logic and basic blind search techniques (i.e., breadth-first and depth-first search) is also assumed, but background readings in these topics can be provided for those with a deficiency in this area.


Primary textbook for the course is Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, Russell and Norvig, Prentice-Hall, Inc., second edition


The PC’s in the Undergraduate PC Lab (Room 317, Upson Hall) are the primary computing resource for the class.

Class Notes and Handouts

Most class notes and handouts will be available on-line on the course materials page.

Getting Help

Office hours are listed on the personnel page. Sending mail to cs472@cs.cornell.edu will contact the entire course staff, but the preferred method of getting help is using the newsgroup cornell.class.cs472. You should check the newsgroup before posing your question to the course staff via e-mail in case it has already been answered. All the rules of academic integrity still apply on the newsgroup, of course. If you have any doubts, use the mailing list instead.

Academic Integrity

You are responsible for knowing and following Cornell’s academic integrity policy. In short, the work you submit is expected to be your own.  Violation of the Academic Integrity Code very often results in failure in the course. If there is any doubt as to what kind of collaboration is allowed, please ask the instructor.

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