Syllabus for COS-451



Artificial Intelligence (COS-451) is an introduction to how Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods solve problems that are difficult or impractical to solve with other methods.This course provides an introduction to basic artificial intelligence concepts and techniques. The goal of the course is to introduce students to methods in artificial intelligence, and explore their potential applications. The course will emphasize topics in Intelligent agents, problem-solving techniques, logic, and the philosophical foundations and future of AI.

Advisory: Students should be familiar with computer hardware and software as provided in an introductory computer science course and they should have the sophistication of understanding material as demonstrated by successfully completing courses such as discrete math, discrete structures, or computer architecture or having similar practical experience. It is recommended, but not required, to have taken a course in computer programming. However, the course will not require programming.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the foundations and history of Artificial Intelligence, as well as the science of agent design.
  2. Illustrate the use of problem-solving techniques, such as the various search methods, games, and constraint satisfaction problems.
  3. Demonstrate AI’s use of knowledge representation, through logic agents and first-order logic to address AI problems.
  4. Discuss the philosophical foundations of AI and explain the possibilities for the future of AI.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbooks are available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook


Artificial Intelligence is a three-credit online course, consisting of five (5) modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in ten (10) graded online discussion forums, complete five (5) written assignments, take a proctored midterm online examination, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

This course requires you to participate in ten (10) graded discussion forums. There are also one ungraded but required introduction forum in Module 1. 

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct assignments: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.


You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings, concepts, and ideas as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums). Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.


Meaningful participation in online discussions is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement.

Written Assignments

Artificial Intelligence has five (5) written assignments. For the assignment topics and questions, see the individual module details. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these modules and read through the written assignment questions before you begin each reading assignment.

Assignments must be prepared electronically with a word processor, preferably using whatever equation editor comes with your word processing software. However, if your word processor is not compatible with your mentor's word processor, you will need to save your document as a rich-text file (.rtf) before submitting it. Check with your mentor first to determine file compatibility.


When preparing your answers, please identify each exercise clearly by textbook section and exercise number. Be sure to include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the

semester and year in which you are enrolled. To receive full credit for your answers, you must show all work and include complete solutions.

Midterm Examination

This course requires you to take a proctored online midterm examination. It is three hours long and covers all material assigned in Modules 1 through 3. It consists of essay questions and problems related to topics covered modules.


The exam is open-book. This means that you may use ONLY your course textbook and refer to it during the exam, but you are NOT permitted to use any notes, any solutions manuals, study guides, or any other reference sources or sources of information. The course textbook must be an original bound hard copy; electronic textbooks (or printouts) are not allowed.

For the midterm, you are required to use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Final Project

This course requires you to complete a final project. The final assessment is an open-book project consisting of problems and essays. It covers all material assigned in Modules 4 and 5 of the course, although you will be expected to be able to make reference to material covered before the Midterm exam as well. 

If you use any text, online, or other sources as you prepare these problems and essays, be sure to give appropriate credit to the source.


This final project is located in the Final Project Module. It will be activated and made available to you at the start of final project week (see course Calendar). You may complete the project any time during the last week of the semester, but you must submit it no later than midnight Saturday (eastern standard time) of that week. If you are on a course extension, you will need to arrange with your mentor a time to submit the final project.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.


Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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