Resources for Educators
Class Projects and Exercises
Model AI Assignments from the growing collection of projects maintained by the EAAI. SeeEAAI-2011: The Second Symposium on Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence.
A* Projects from the USC Game Lab -- Well-tested classroom projects for teaching the fundamentals of search using A* as a starting point.
Accessible Hands-on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Education - Resources from the 2004 AAAI Spring Symposium. "We believe that these low-cost platforms have matured sufficiently to become a standard tool for teaching artificial intelligence and robotics to advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students. Furthermore, the accessibility of low-cost platforms introduces the exciting prospect of expanding artificial intelligence and robotics educational opportunities outside the classroom, including non-traditional venues such as museums and do-it-yourself websites. Providing accessible hands-on learning experiences will help inspire the next generation of artificial intelligence and robotics scientists and engineers. ... The purpose of this symposium is to disseminate the experience of early adapters by gathering instructional material in a form that can be directly used to build artificial intelligence curricula with hands-on robotics exercises. Our goal is that this symposium results in a collection of material that simplifies the task of designing, creating, and running such courses. These materials may be further extended to engage the public in artificial intelligence and robotics research activities."
Alice - "The focus of the Alice project is now to provide the best possible first exposure to programming for students ranging from middle schoolers to college students. ... Alice is made freely available as a public service." From the Stage3 Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University. "We feel that providing a more expressive medium in which to construct programs will help to interest a wider audience, including young women, in Computer Science."
[http://en.scientificcommons.org/42890444 | Interacting with the real world: a way of teaching Artificial Intelligence concepts]]. By Maria Gini, Dean Hougen, Alejandro Ozerkovsky, Paul Rybski, and Brian Schmalz. "We describe a variety of projects developed as part of a course in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Minnesota. The projects cover navigation of small mobile robots and learning to accomplish simple tasks, and require a variety of approaches from neural networks to genetic programming to reactive behaviors. The projects have all been implemented on real robots. We discuss how the combination of robotics with Artificial Intelligence adds value to the learning of AI concepts and how the fun of building and programming a robot is a highly motivating force for the learning process."
Interesting AI Demos and Projects. An extensive collection from Professor Charles R. Dyer, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Teaching Modules from the MIND Project introduce many important concepts in AI including Neural Nets, Adaptive Systems, Connectionism, Learning, Robotics, Turing's Test, Searle's Chinese Room Argument, Language, Memory, and Perception.
Syllabi for AI and AI-Related Courses Please submit class outlines, course syllabi, and other materials that will be helpful to other instructors of AI classes.
Tutorial Notes and Slides
Some AI Textbooks
ACM/CSTA Report "Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K–12 Computer Science in the Digital Age". An interactive map showing to what extent each state has adopted ACM and CSTA's nationally recognized computer science education standards into state standards and whether computer science counts as a core mathematics or science graduation credit. The national snapshot shows only 10 states count computer science as a core graduation credit and most state standards are focused on "skills" (73 percent adoption) instead of deeper computing "concepts" (only 37 percent adoption). Further most states have few Level II or III standards. (October, 2010).
Advancing Robotics Technology for Societal Impact (ARTSI) Alliance: "a collaborative education and research project centered around robotics for healthcare, the arts, and entrepreneurship. Spelman College, a historically black college (HBCU) for women is leading the alliance in partnership with several other HBCUs and Research I (R1) institutions."
Artbotics: "[T]he University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) is collaborating with The Revolving Museum and Lowell High School, using project-based learning to introduce students to computing. ... The goals of the program are to:
Artbotics will be disseminated through a workshop held during the summer of 2008. Participants will be recruited regionally and nationally from universities, high schools, and community groups."
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) resources for teachers. Includes Curricula Recommendations and Educational Organizations.
BBC resources include:
Broadening Computer and Robotics Education and Participation for Women. Video [56:46] of Professor Andrew Williams' presentation at CSE Colloquia - 2007, The University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering Colloquium Series. Available from ResearchChannel via AAAI Video Archive link above.
Can Computers Think? Mapping Great Debates. Visit MacroVU's site where you can preview their "7 poster-sized argumentation maps that chart the entire history of the debate. The maps outline arguments put forth since 1950 by more than 380 cognitive scientists, philosophers, artificial intelligence researchers, mathematicians, and others."
CIspace: Tools for learning Computational Intelligence. "These applets are designed as tools for learning and exploring concepts in artificial intelligence. They are part of the online resources for Computational Intelligence. If you are teaching or learning about AI, you may use these applets freely. ... These applets were designed and written by Saleema Amershi, Nicole Arksey, Mike Cline, Wesley Coelho, Kevin O'Neill, Mike Pavlin, Joseph Roy Santos, Shinjiro Sueda, Leslie Tung, Audrey Yap, Regan Yuen, Kyle Porter, and Byron Knoll, under the guidance of Cristina Conati, Peter Gorniak, Holger Hoos, Alan Mackworth, and David Poole."
A Client-Serve Computational Tool for Integrated Artificial Intelligence Curriculum. Lawrence B. Holder and Diane J. Cook, University of Texas. (2001). Journal of Computing in Higher Education, Volume 12, Number 2. Versions of this paper can be accessed from Diane Cook's web site.
Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) - "a membership organization that supports and promotes the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines. CSTA provides opportunities for K-12 teachers and students to better understand the computing disciplines and to more successfully prepare themselves to teach and learn." Be sure to see their resource collection, curriculum materials (including the Model Curriculum for K-12 Computer Science) and publications (such as The New Educational Imperative: Improving High School Computer Science Education).
Computing Classroom Resources from NSF, the National Science Foundation. Resources include "The Most Complex Machine: A Survey of Computers and Computing" and "Little girls, microcomputers, and computer literate women."
"CS4HS [Computer Science for High Schools] is a new effort by the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University to reach out to high school (and K-8) teachers to provide resources to help them teach computer science principles to their students in a fun and relevant way. Our goals include helping teachers explain to students the exciting possibilities available to students who go on to study computer science in college."
Curricula Recommendations. Several reports -- covering programs at the K-12, Associate Degree, Undergraduate and Graduate levels -- are available from ACM, including:
ACM Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Information Systems, 2010. Joint IS 2010 Curriculum Task Force. "IS 2010 is the latest in a series of model curricula for undergraduate degrees in Information Systems. It builds on the foundation formed by this earlier work, but it is a major revision of the curriculum and incorporates several significant new characteristics."
Curriculum Descant. "A regular column, in ACM Intelligence Magazine, on the teaching of AI. This link will take you to all of the essays published in the column." This exciting online collection is maintained by Deepak Kumar, the editor of the column. See, for example:
CVonline. "If you are a teacher, you will be constantly searching for a reasonably priced book to use for your [Computer Vision] courses, only to find that most authoritative books are too expensive for anything other than libraries, and most reasonably priced books are rather thin and one-sided. And if you find one, it is inevitably out of print and/or out of date in only a few years. Academic staff often find that the only solution is to write their own notes - often a long, frustrating and sometimes unrewarding activity. With the WWW, there is a remedy for these problems. Edinburgh University presents: CVonline: The Evolving, Distributed, Non-Proprietary, On-Line Compendium of Computer Vision."
Diversity in Computing. An interview with Valerie Taylor, associate professor in the Electrical and Computing Engineering Department at Northwestern University, from Ubiquity, an ACM IT Magazine & Forum (Issue 26: August 28 - September 3, 2001). "UBIQUITY: How do you connect the two ends of the problem: at one end the K-12 failure to encourage kids to become scientists and engineers, and at the other end the inability of many colleges and universities to recruit sufficient numbers of minority faculty who will be able to inspire the next generation? TAYLOR: The connecting link is motivation, of two different kinds. I think to increase the minority numbers in higher education you need to start with K-12 programs, where a lot more work is needed to make sure students are motivated from all different factors to go into computing. And then at the higher education level, you need diversity among your faculty, especially to motivate students to go beyond the undergraduate program. At the K-12 level you have to motivate students to learn science. At the university and graduate levels you have to motivate them to become scientists."
Educational resources from EURON (the European Robotics Research Network) include a database of teaching materials (educational robotics platforms, robotics simulators, robot videos and more) and Robotics for under 18s.
Educators go high-tech to check essay exams. By Rhea R. Borja. USA Today (January 15, 2003). "Under the faint glow and ambient hum of their computers, the 11th-graders at Heritage Jr. Sr. High School in Monroeville, Ind., focused on their online English essay and short-answer test. The clacking of computer keys filled the room. But when time was up, these students didn't hand anything in. Instead, they hit 'enter,' and the essays shot into cyberspace to be graded. But forget the notion of an eagle-eyed grammarian, red pencil in hand, looking over these papers. Or any human, for that matter. Instead, the essays were graded by a high-tech artificial-intelligence system -- a computer that notes misspellings, assesses sentence structure and reviews writing style. Mr. Chips, meet 'Hal.' ... Compared with humans, computers grade essays faster, more efficiently and more accurately, say some education officials and testing companies such as Vantage Learning, which created the IntelliMetric essay-scoring technology, and Educational Testing Service, which developed the E-Rater, another scoring system. ... Educators like the relatively low cost and speed of essay-scoring technology: Prices vary, but it costs about $1 per computer-scored essay compared with about $5 for a human-graded essay. Also, essays are scored in five to 10 minutes by humans, in less than two seconds by computer, says [Scott] Elliot. By most accounts, students also like taking the tests online."
Films for the Humanities & Sciences offers several AI related videos for sale and/or digital delivery. Be sure to see their Computer Science & Information Technology catalog and special collections such as The Discovery Channel and BBC Learning.
"The FIRST LEGO League (FLL) program is the result of a partnership between FIRST and the LEGO Company. FLL extends the FIRST concept of inspiring and celebrating science and technology to 9 through 14 year-old children, using real-world context and hands-on experimentation. ... During the FLL process, teams build, program, and test their own fully autonomous robot capable of completing various Challenge 'missions.'"
The Great Robot Race: Teacher's Guide for the NOVA program first aired on March 28, 2006: "NOVA follows the race to build an autonomous vehicle that can successfully complete a rugged, 212-kilometer course across the Nevada desert in the DARPA Grand Challenge 2005." Resources include viewing ideas, classroom activities, online video of the complete one hour broadcast and more.
HIPR. "The Hypermedia Image Processing Reference (HIPR) was developed at the Department of Artificial Intelligence in the University of Edinburgh in order to provide a set of computer-based tutorial materials for use in taught courses on image processing and machine vision. The package provides on-line reference and tutorial information on a wide range of image processing operations, extensively illustrated with actual digitized images, and bound together in a hypermedia format for easy browsing, searching and cross-referencing." - from What is HIPR?
History in the computing curriculum - Report of the IFIP TC3 and TC9 Joint Task Group. By John Impagliazzo, Martin Campbell-Kelly, Gordon Davies, and John A.N. (Jan) Lee. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 4-16, Jan-Mar, 1999. Abstract: "Although history is a part of arts and sciences, the history of computing has yet to receive uniform acceptance in the academic community. The history of computing should be considered as a part of human understanding and how the development of computing has affected the human environment. Computing curricula recommendations often neglect this aspect of study. This report seeks to justify a history component in a computing curriculum by providing resources and a framework for a curriculum. The report is international in scope; it seeks to raise the awareness of history to improve the study and practice of the computing profession, without confining it to a specific computing discipline. It also leads to the importance of history as a learning tool, both for students and practitioners, and shows how academicians can make history part of a computing curriculum."
Improving Instruction of Introductory Artificial Intelligence. Papers from the 1994 AAAI Fall Symposium. Marti Hearst, Program Chair. "Introductory artificial intelligence is a notoriously difficult course to teach well. The two most straightforward strategies are to either present a smorgasbord of topics or to focus on one or two central approaches. ... The goal of the symposium was to provide an opportunity to discuss the difficult questions surrounding the teaching of introductory AI courses, as well as to share successful strategies, problem assignments, instructional programs, and instructional 'bloopers.'"
Institute for Personal Robots in Education: "The Institute for Personal Robots in Education (IPRE) applies and evaluates robots as a context for computer science education. IPRE is a joint effort between Georgia Tech and Bryn Mawr College sponsored by Microsoft Research. At Georgia Tech, IPRE is associated with Robotics and the College of Computing. At Bryn Mawr College, IPRE is associated with the Computer Science Department. This web site is the jumping-off point for information about our new effort. The site will expand as our program evolves. Look here for software, curricula, hardware details, publications, and other information as we move forward."
Educational Resources in Computers, Software, and Privacy from The Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science at CASE Western Reserve University. "The mission of the Ethics Center is to provide engineers, scientists and science and engineering students with resources useful for understanding and addressing ethically significant problems that arise in their work life. The Center is also intended to serve teachers of engineering and science students who want to include discussion of ethical problems closely related to technical subjects as a part of science and engineering courses, or in free-standing subjects in professional ethics or in research ethics for such students."
It's Show Time: our eclectic collection of video clips, demos, radio broadcasts & more.
Mapping Great Debates: Can Computers Think? From MacroVU, Inc. "A set of 7 poster-sized argumentation maps that chart the entire history of the debate. The maps outline arguments put forth since 1950 by more than 380 cognitive scientists, philosophers, artificial intelligence researchers, mathematicians, and others."
MIT OpenCourseWare. "This initiative supports MIT's fundamental mission -- to advance knowledge and education to best serve the nation and the world." Courses are offered in areas such as Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (see for example: 6.034 Artificial Intelligence, Spring 2003, 6.345 Automatic Speech Recognition, Spring 2003, and 6.270 Autonomous Robot Design Competition, January 2005).
The New Educational Imperative: Improving High School Computer Science Education - Using worldwide research and professional experience to improve U.S.Schools. By the Computer Science Teachers Association CSTA] Curriculum Improvement Task Force. "This report ... provides a comprehensive look at high school computer science education in the United States and around the world. Beginning with an examination of the current state of high school computer science education and its link to national economic issues, it includes: an extensive review of international research, a look at how other countries have successfully developed and implemented national curricula for high school computer science, and common sense suggestions for how all stakeholders (legislators, state and federal policy makers, school district policy makers, principals, teachers, university and college faculty, and business and industry) can implement changes that will improve every aspect of high school computer science education."
Pyro, developed by Douglas Blank (Bryn Mawr College), Kurt Konolige (SRI International), Deepak Kumar (Bryn Mawr College), Lisa Meeden (Swarthmore College), and Holly Yanco (University of Massachussetts Lowell)."Pyro stands for Python Robotics. The goal of the project is to provide a programming environment for easily exploring advanced topics in artificial intelligence and robotics without having to worry about the low-level details of the underlying hardware. That is not to say that Pyro is just a toy. In fact, Pyro is used for real robotics research as well as courseware. ... Features:
"ResearchChannel is a nonprofit media and technology organization that connects a global audience with the research and academic institutions whose developments, insights and discoveries affect our lives and futures." Here are just a few of the programs available from their video library:
Science fairs spur careers, open doors to top colleges. By Bruce Lieberman. Union-Tribune & SignOnSanDiego.com (March 31, 2006). "For decades, science fairs across the United States have cultivated budding physicists, biologists, astronomers, engineers, computer scientists, professors and other researchers. Winners of national science fairs have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize; the MacArthur Fellowship 'genius grant'; the Fields Medal, mathematics' top prize; the National Medal of Science; and other distinctions. Teenagers who shine at science fairs often see scholarship money flow and college doors open. ... A science project takes discipline, determination and persistence, [Steve] Rodecker said. It requires kids to think like college students and act like adults."
Science Fiction. A teaching unit designed for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students from the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.
Scientific American Frontiers in the classroom. "[A] special section of the Scientific American Frontiers site designed just for educators. You'll find all you need to use Frontiers in the classroom including: -Information on videotaping rights and purchasing videos. -An online mailing list for educators. -Online teaching guides for current and previous seasons. -Free teaching guides by mail. -Interactive web-based activities. -Teachers' Honor Roll, where teachers who've used Frontiers in the classroom share their advice and experiences. -Complete transcripts for each program." Here's a sample of what's available:
Scientists urged to inspire students. By Joanne Lawson. EducationGuardian.co.uk News (January 18, 2005). "The Royal Society today called on scientists to step out of the laboratory and into the classroom, as it published a survey showing that many scientists and engineers have been motivated by an encounter with an inspirational individual. ... More than half of the scientists surveyed said that seeing a scientist or engineer at work had been an influence on their choice of career, and over 80% pointed to an inspirational individual, be it a teacher, a famous scientist or a family member who was already involved in science.
Aiming to capitalise on the use of role models, the Royal Society has published a good practice guide for schemes that enable young people to meet real scientists and find out how they work. ... A particular aim of the scheme is to get more girls and young people from ethnic minority backgrounds to take up science."
SIGCSE: "The ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education provides a forum for problems common among educators working to develop, implement and/or evaluate computing programs, curricula, and courses, as well as syllabi, laboratories, and other elements of teaching and pedagogy."
THE SimAgent TOOLKIT from Aaron Sloman, Cognition and Affect Project, School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham. "The SimAgent toolkit provides a range of resources for research and teaching related to the development of interacting agents in environments of various degrees and kinds of complexity. It can be run as a pure simulation tool, or installed in a robot with a sufficiently powerful on-board computer, e.g. running linux. It was originally developed to support research on intelligent agents, but has been used successfully for student projects developing a wide variety of interactive games and simulations."
Statistical Data Mining Tutorials - Tutorial Slides by Andrew Moore, professor of Robotics and Computer Science at the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. "The following links point to a set of tutorials on many aspects of statistical data mining, including the foundations of probability, the foundations of statistical data analysis, and most of the classic machine learning and data mining algorithms. These include classification algorithms such as decision trees, neural nets, Bayesian classifiers, Support Vector Machines and cased-based (aka non-parametric) learning. They include regression algorithms such as multivariate polynomial regression, MARS, Locally Weighted Regression, GMDH and neural nets. And they include other data mining operations such as clustering (mixture models, k-means and hierarchical), Bayesian networks and Reinforcement Learning. Powerpoint Format: The Powerpoint originals of these slides are freely available to anyone who wishes to use them for their own work, or who wishes to teach using them in an academic institution. Please email Andrew Moore ... if you would like him to send them to you. The only restriction is that they are not freely available for use as teaching materials in classes or tutorials outside degree-granting academic institutions."
The Tech Museum of Innovation classroom activities - Robotics. "Like the exhibit, these materials are designed to increase students' understanding about what makes a robot a robot, how robots sense, think, and act as well as the uses and limitations of working robots."
Teaching technical creativity through Robotics: A case study in Ghana. By G. Ayorkor Mills-Tettey, M. Bernardine Dias and Brett Browning (Carnegie Mellon University), and Nathan Amanquah (Ashesi University). CMU-RI-TR-06-46 (October 2006). Abstract: "Creating technology that is relevant and accessible to developing communities is an emerging area of scholarly and practical importance. Diversity in both the creators and consumers of advanced technology is required to develop sustained and useful applications of robotics, AI, and other technical fields in developing regions. Increased diversity will result in a wider array of technological innovations that are of benefit to both developed and developing regions. However, due to restricted access to technical resources, infrastructure, and expertise, technology education in developing communities is non-trivial. Thus, international partnerships and creative course designs are required. In response to this need, we developed a partnership between Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA and Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana to design and implement an undergraduate introductory Robotics course targeted towards the Ghanaian context. This hands-on course, which to our knowledge is the first of its kind in Ghana, introduced students to the fields of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and guided them to develop technical creativity by designing, building, and programming small robotic systems. This paper presents an overview of the course, its outcomes, lessons learned through its implementation, plans for its sustainability, and projected future directions."
TeRK (Telepresence Robot Kit): Educational Robotics - Vehicles for Teaching and Learning from the Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Lab at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. As stated in the overview: "Our aim with TeRK is to make educational robotics fun, affordable, and accessible to a diverse community of college students, pre-college students, and all individuals interested in robotics." Resources include Robot Recipes, Software, and Curricula for Instructors.
"ThinkQuest is a global network of students, teachers, parents and technologists dedicated to exploring youth-centered learning on the Net."
Timeline of Computer History from The Computer Museum History Center. "This timeline explores the history of computing from 1945 to 1990. Each year features illustrated descriptions of significant innovations in hardware and software technology, as well as milestones in areas such as commercial applications and artificial intelligence. When appropriate, biographical sketches of the pioneers responsible for the advances are included." The photos are sure to capture the attention of your students.
Towards 2020 Science. Produced under the aegis of Microsoft Research Cambridge (2006). As stated on page 4 of the report: "[W]e would also like this report to help inform the education policy debate, especially the vital importance of ensuring that today’s children can become tomorrow’s 'new kinds’of scientists required to tackle key scientific and social challenges and opportunities in the first half of the 21st Century."
University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) Activities for Primary & Secondary Schools: "Teachers, the programs and visit opportunities below include details of relevant age groups, costs (where applicable) and contact details.
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Workshops ... RoboCup Junior Competition ... Robotics Lab ... Computers that can see you ... Innovation Expo ..."
The Use of Computers for Teaching Artificial Intelligence at Rensselaer. By Ellen L. Walker. (1994). In Working Notes of the AAAI Symposium: Improving Instruction of Introductory Artificial Intelligence, pp. 47-50. (Also available from the author's web site.) "An important component of the course ... is hands-on experience with problem-solving on the computer, both inside and outside class."
Using History to Teach Computer Science and Related Disciplines. William Aspray and Atsushi Akera, editors. Computing Research Association (2004). "Stemming from a series of NSF-funded workshops, this report offers innovative ideas on how to use the rich, empirical material of history to enhance student learning and appreciation for fundamental concepts in computer science and related disciplines. Reports by twenty authors are divided into five parts: 1) two introductory papers; 2) six essays on curricular issues and strategies; 3) twelve course syllabi; 4) five historical case studies; and 5) two essays on key resources in the history of computing." [PDF available]
Using Practical Toys, Modified for Technical Learning. By Tracey Lynn Weishe. Crossroads (Summer 2004 - 10.4). "Educators have used toys in the classroom for as long as toys have been in existence, especially in the field of elementary education. Toys can provide motivation as well as keep the students focused on a particular area of study for longer periods of time - something students at the elementary level often struggle with. ... In this project, we offer a hands-on approach for teaching and integrating robotics and computers into the elementary school classroom. The approach uses the LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Invention Kit and course curriculum, which we hope is effective in developing children's interest in computer science."
Using Robot Competitions to Promote Intellectual Development. By Robin R. Murphy. AI Magazine 21(1): Spring 2000, 77-90. "This article discusses five years of experience using three international mobile robot competitions as the foundation for educational projects in undergraduate and graduate computer science courses. ... Based on these experiences, a strategy is presented for incorporating competitions into courses in such a way as to foster intellectual maturation as well as learn lessons in organizing courses and fielding teams. The article also provides a classification of the major robot competitions and discusses the relative merits of each for educational projects, including the expected course level of computer science students, equipment needed, and costs."
Related AITopics Pages