COM SCI 161

Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence

Description: Lecture, four hours; laboratory, two hours; outside study, six hours. Enforced requisite: course 180. Introduction to fundamental problem solving and knowledge representation paradigms of artificial intelligence. Introduction to Lisp with regular programming assignments. State-space and problem reduction methods, brute-force and heuristic search, planning techniques, two-player games. Knowledge structures including predicate logic, production systems, semantic nets and primitives, frames, scripts. Special topics in natural language processing, expert systems, vision, and parallel architectures. Letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 4.5
Easiness 2.9 / 5
Clarity 4.7 / 5
Workload 2.7 / 5
Helpfulness 4.7 / 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2020 - TAKE HIS CLASS! Professor Darwiche is an absolute gem! I got into the class on a last-minute PTE after spring quarter went remote. He has to be one of the most well-adjusted professors out of all of UCLA's remote courses. From day one, he has been prepared and well-versed with the Sketchbook app to use as a whiteboard (great handwriting too), rarely had tech problems, edited *ALL* of the recorded lectures to correct mistakes on screen and cut out any pauses/wait time. He divided the videos into 2 parts to upload, each 35-40 minutes long, which made it super easy for us to find things when rewatching. Even went to lengths to add his own intro music for the videos and sometimes draws a little daisy on the first slide :') He always stuck around after lecture to answer students' questions and provided external resources (optional) if you were interested in reading more. He's very patient, used engaging and funny examples, and explained concepts SO well. This was not a class where I had to often re-watch lectures or read the textbook to catch up. Exam was open book and pretty manageable, exactly what you'd expect based on lecture and homework material. TA's were also very knowledgeable and helpful in discussion (Shirley was great!) There's roughly one homework per week, usually takes less than 4 hours. I already knew Darwiche was a beloved and highly-regarded professor before enrolling his class, but in contrast to how other professors are handling remote instruction, Darwiche is miles ahead and definitely went above and beyond to make sure students are getting the best out of this course. Really wish I can take another class with him some day!
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Overall Rating 3.8
Easiness 3.6 / 5
Clarity 3.5 / 5
Workload 4.0 / 5
Helpfulness 3.7 / 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2019 - I can see where the negative reviews come from regarding the course content since ppl would expect AI courses to be modern and fun instead of theories. While I agree with that, I do want to add my personal thoughts regarding the problem. There are also other professors besides prof. Gu who teach this course and cs department requires them to teach the same materials (otherwise it would be unfair for both teachers and students in different quarters). this intro level AI course was designed years ago and ofc it is a little outdated, but the content can hardly be changed unless the department decides to. I guess for ppl complaining here, it would be better if you talk to cs dept directly instead of giving a low rating for some professors... Regarding the professor, I took the course when the pandemic hit in 2020 and everything was a mess. I think the professor is knowledgeable and cared a lot about course quality and did a great job accommodating students' needs. I do agree that sometimes the slides are too brief and the textbook definitely gives a more thorough explanation. BUT that is based on if you don't listen to the lecture at all and just reading the slides. Based on my personal experience, it is easier to understand the materials when I went to the lecture with professor's demo. For TAs, I would agree that they were not that helpful comparing with TAs from other courses. but I do not think they were being lazy (at least mine wasn't) Their speaking skills are not too good so it's difficult to understand, but they were willing to stay after discussion with me to make sure my concerns were resolved. The HWs and tests are doable as other comments said. In general, I think this course is a descent intro-level AI course that shows/prepares you the fundamentals behind the fancy side of AI/ML. I also consider it as a good elective with very manageable workload and easy A.
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A / 5
Clarity N/A / 5
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