Augmenting AI Coursework Through Undergraduate Research

Antonio M. Lopez, Jr.

All coursesin Artificial Intelligence are not equal. The topics covered by a course entitled Artificial Intelligence vary widely. The Computing Curricula 2001: Computer Science offers a good deal of flexibility for degree programs to meet the prescribed standard of knowledge units for the field of Intelligent Systems. Most, but not all, Historically Black Colleges and Universities can achieve more than the minimum recommended core hours through a one-semester, intermediate-level course in the Junior/Senior year. A few have the ability to offer at least one advanced course as a Senior Elective. At our institution, we found undergraduate research projects to be an excellent means of preparing students for the one-semester, intermediate-level Artificial Intelligence course, or extending what can be covered in that course. This paper presents a review of the suggested coursework for a one-semester, intermediate-level course in Artificial Intelligence and what is possible at a nonResearch Type I institution. It then gives two areas where undergraduate research projects have been used to create interest in or expand knowledge of Artificial Intelligence topics, thus covering more than what is possible in one course.

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