Name Humberto Ortiz-Zuazaga
Office NCL A-159
Telephone 787-764-0000 x7430
Web page
Office hours Monday 10:00 - 11:30 AM
  Thursday 3:30 - 4:30 PM
  or by appointment

Teaching Assistant

Name Alejandro Vientós del Valle


This course should cover some of the same material as CCOM 5677 Artificial Intelligence. Alejandro and I are revising the syllabus to include new material and approaches.

This course is intended to introduce students to the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), enable them to apply fundamental AI programming techniques, and motivate them to take harder courses needed to understand advanced topics in the field.

Students will analyze representative algorithms that showcase different paradigms and techniques used by AI to solve various kinds of problems, then use the learned concepts to write simple AI of their own. Students will also be expected to prepare and deliver a short presentation on a paper of their choice.


The course will progress as follows: a brief history of AI; a quick introduction to LISP languages; an exploration traditional AI techniques, mainly rule based problem solving, symbolic manipulation, and some logic programming; then a brief overview of modern AI, including machine learning.

The approach taken here will mainly consist of dissecting different AIs and explaining the reasoning behind them, thus exposing the student to core concepts and techniques. The majority of these will be traditional rule-based AI, taken from Peter Norvig’s Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming, which showcases practical programming skills that the students may adopt and use elsewhere. Among the algorithms to be discussed are GPS, the general problem solver; ELIZA, a program that mimics human speech; STUDENT, a program that solves high-school-level word problems; and briefly (if time allows) EMYCIN, an expert system (an AI frontend for a database). The last few weeks of class will be dedicated to presenting material from the textbook Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence, which covers modern techniques based on biomimicry; while this material is not math-intensive, it is complicated enough that it will only be superficially discussed, with the exception of genetic algorithms. The idea is to show the current state of the field and the importance of biology to the understanding of complex problem solving.

Old Description

Fundamental concepts of Logic. Artificial intelligence techniques. Natural languages and vision systems. Automatic demonstration of theorems. Expert systems.

Old Content

  • Artificial intelligence techniques
  • Automatic theorem proving
  • Fundamental concepts of logic
  • Expert systems
  • Natural languages and vision
  • Introduction to genetic algorithms and Genomics

Course Schedule

To be determined. The course is listed as independent study, students will be expected to devote considerable time on their own programming and reading.


Topic Reading Lectures
Introduction to LISP Ch. 1-3 2
GPS Ch. 4 2
ELIZA Ch. 5 2
Prolog/Emycin Ch. 11,16 3
Genetic algorithms   2
Reinforcement Learning   2

Instructional resources

The course will be hosted on the CCOM Moodle. Register and stay tuned for our polls and forum postings.

This term we will be using Piazza for class discussion. The system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates, the TA, and myself. Rather than emailing questions to the teaching staff, I encourage you to post your questions on Piazza. If you have any problems or feedback for the developers, email

Find our class page at:

Additional references

Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence: Theories, Methods, and Technologies By Dario Floreano and Claudio Mattiussi.

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (Third edition) by Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig.

Evaluation strategy

Students will turn in programs for each of the major topics covered in class. These will be graded and critiqued.

Reasonable accomodations for students

Students with disabilities properly registered with the Office of Affairs for Persons with Disabilities Oficina de Asuntos para la Persona con Impedimento (O.A.P.I.) should notify the professor at the start of the semester. The professor will make reasonable accommodations to support the student, in consultation with OAPI.