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Course Information

Instructor Info:Jaime Davila
Office Extension x5687
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 126
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 126

This course will expose students to topics in computer programming and artificial intelligence by both reading primary literature on the topic and programming virtual creatures in high level programming languages. No previous programming experience is necessary. By the end of the course successful students will have acquired programming skills at an introductory level and will be ready for additional courses in computer science. In addition, students will have gained knowledge related to several general topics in the cognitive sciences, such as vision, artificial intelligence, neural networks, and evolution.

Course Objectives:

By the end of the semester successful students will have been exposed to some of the some of the main topics in artificial life and artificial intelligence at an introductory level, as well as some topics in cognitive science. Successful students will also gain a brief introduction to the programming simple virtual creatures in a high level language. As a tutorial, students in this course will also be given ample exposure to the academic requirements of their Hampshire College career, as well as to a number of valuable academic and learning skills.

Evaluation Criteria:

Students will be evaluated based on:

  • a number of short response papers on readings, film, and short stories throught the semester.
  • a final short programming assignment related to virtual creatures, based on modifying pre-existing code in order to change its behavior.
  • their progress in designing and executing the initial stages of a longer final paper, due at the end of the semester.
Additional Info:

Outside of class meeting times, students can expect having to work between five and ten hours a week for this course.

There is not textbook rewuirements for this course.

Course policy on incompletes: students will be elegible to receive an incomplete at the end of the semester only if they have a serious, valid health or personal reason that keeps them from completing work in a timely mannery. Students are strongly adviced to notify the course instructor as soon as such a circumstance arrises. Even in those cases, it is the instructor's prerogative to grant an incomplete or not.

Regarding plagiarisim and academic dishonesty: All Hampshire College students and faculty, whether at Hampshire or at other institutions, are bound by the ethics of academic integrity. The entire description and college policy can be found in Non Satis Non Scire at under Academic Policies/Ethics of Scholarship. Plagiarism is the representation of someone else’s work as one’s own. Both deliberate and inadvertent misrepresentations of another’s work as your own are considered plagiarism and are serious breaches of academic honesty and integrity. All sources used or consulted in the process of writing papers, examinations, preparing oral presentations, course assignments, artistic productions, and so on, must be cited. Sources include material from books, journals or any other printed source, the work of other students, faculty, or staff, information from the Internet, software programs and other electronic material, designs and ideas.

All cases of suspected plagiarism or academic dishonesty will be referred to the Dean of Advising who will review documentation and meet with student and faculty member. Individual faculty, in consultation with the Dean of Advising, will decide the most appropriate consequence in the context of the class. This can range from revising and resubmitting an assignment to failing the course. Beyond the consequence in the course, CASA considers first offenses as opportunities for education and official warning. Multiple or egregious offenses will have more serious consequences. Suspected instances of other breaches of the ethics of academic integrity, such as the falsification of data, will be treated with the same seriousness as plagiarism and will follow the same process.