Weekly Announcements

Week 1 (Aug 21-27)

  • Welcome to the first week of AI class!  Every week we will have a set of announcements about what to expect this week.  Announcements will show up in the announcements page as well as in the announcements channel in slack! (Take this as a BIG hint to go join slack!  you will NOT be successful in the class if you don’t join the slack – and the info on how to do it is below!)
  • How to get started this week:
    • Go to the class website: https://ai-fall2023.ai2es.org/ and start on Module 0!  Module 0 will only take about half a week but it will get you going on how the class will run.  By mid-week, you should move to Module 1.
    • Make sure that you join the slack – the link to join is in the module 0 quizzes!  
  • How does class work?
    • If you are in the online class, all of your interactions will be online (unless you come to office hours for Dr McGovern or the TA).
    • If you are in the hybrid class, you will be doing a flipped classroom.  The in-person portion only meets once a week!  The lectures are still online and asynchronous and the in-person class will focus on examples, discussion & debates (we are going to discuss and debate AI ethics and policies!), and more.  Note that in-person classes will assume you have completed your assignments for that week that are due by Thursdays!  
  • I look forward to working with you, hybrid or online!  See you soon!

Week 2 (Aug 28 – Sep 3)

  • Welcome to week 2 of AI class!  This week we dive into Module 1, with a focus on intelligent agents and also getting us started on ethical and responsible AI.  We will have a great discussion on the movie in class as well as slack for the fully online group!
    • We will also discuss intelligent agents and other topics from module 1 in hybrid class on Thursday. 
  • The other big task this week is to start Project 0!  Remember that Project 0 is an individual project but I strongly recommend you find a partner for projects 1 and beyond.  If you find your partner early (e.g. now), you can help each other on project 0 but keep in mind that project 0 must be turned in individually, whereas all the other projects are graded per group.
    • Remember if you are stuck or need help, ask for help on #projects as it is rather likely others have seen your error.  Please do not post code in the slack but you can post errors or conceptual questions!  If you have coding issues, talk to the TA or Dr McGovern on slack or during office hours.

Week 3 (Sep 4 – 10)

  • Welcome back from a short holiday weekend!  I know today (Monday) is still a holiday but I’m sending our announcement out because some of you are still missing Project 0!  So here is my quick project summary from the week:
    • Project 0 was due last Friday but we are accepting late submissions up to 11:59pm tonight for you to fix any errors in your submissions.  Only one point is taken off for being late so please go submit!  
    • Remember I asked everyone to submit their github username on Project 0 on canvas also.  This is just so we can check your repositories to make sure you don’t have open code for class.
    • I have been posting project help & reminders on #projects in slack and you REALLY need to be reading those!  I keep getting emails that show that people are clearly not reading it – please read slack!
    • Project 0 auto-graded things to 0 but we have fixed that.  Once the TA finishes your grades, they will be visible again.
  • This week has two main tasks:
    • You will start Module 2, which will get you into search methods.
      • You will learn how to formulate search problems and start on un-informed search methods and begin informed methods at the end of this week.  Next week you will finished module 2 and move to module 3 early in the week.
    • Project 1 is assigned this week and has TWO deadlines.
      • The first deadline is this Friday:  you need to turn in the name of your team and you and your partner’s 4x4s.  See the project page for specifications.
      • The second deadline is NEXT Friday when the entire project is due.
      • The class-wide competition ladder will start at 12:01 AM on Sep 7.  These are for extra credit opportunities before the project is due.  The final due date for the project (Sep 15 11:59 PM) will mark the final ladder for extra credit.  You can turn in a project for EC any time before the final deadline – we will only grade your LAST project that you turn in!
  • One other note:  Engineering Career fair is NEXT Thursday (Sep 14) and overlaps our class by 30 min.  Since we only meet once a week, we have been told that our class can meet officially starting at 5pm.  I will hold drop-in office hours in the classroom from 4:30-5, where I will help with projects or whatever else you are stuck on for class.  Again, this is NEXT WEEK.  This week is normal hybrid class from 4:30-5:45!

Week 4 (Sep 11 – 17)

  • Welcome to week 4 of AI class! 
  • This week’s two main tasks are:
    • You will finish informed search and move into the next module on using searches in the real-world.  
    • Project 1 is DUE this Friday!  You will NOT be likely to get it done if you start it on Thursday so I STRONGLY encourage you to start it now!  This is why the extra credit ladders run daily so that you can see your progress.
  • Two other big notes for this week:
    • As I mentioned in hybrid class Thursday, I’ll be at an NSF review for our AI institute all day Monday & Tuesday.  I will NOT be at office hours Tuesday and I will be very slow to respond to slack or email those two days.  Please bug the TA for project help!
    • Due to the Engineering Career fair on Sep 14, hybrid class will hold drop-in office hours in the classroom from 4:30-5 and then regular class from 5-5:45.  See you there and best of luck at the career fair!!

Week 5 (Sep 18-24)

  • Belated welcome to week 5!  This week you are finishing out the module on search in the real world.  I am behind on the announcement as I was in DC on travel Sun-Tues.  
  • This week’s main tasks are:
    • Finish the search in the real-world module
    • Start project 2 (this builds on project 1 and works on A* with moving obstacles and new scoring, that you all voted on!)
  • A few notes for the week
    • Based on the vote in class last week, I’m going to make extra quizzes available after the hybrid classes.  I’ll do a few on search over the next few days and then try to get new ones added to the upcoming modules as they open!
    • I’ll get the scoring mechanisms integrated the project and post on #projects when you need to update your code.  One of your fellow students has a good thread on how to ensure you can do pulls from the remote code base so you can easily get the updates!

Week 6 (Sep 25 – Oct 1)

  • Welcome to week 6 of the semester!  This week we are moving to the last module on search, which takes us to gaming search.  This topic was requested by a lot of you in week 1 so hopefully you enjoy it!
  • This week’s main tasks are:
    • Make sure you are working on Project 2 this week as it is DUE on Friday Sep 29!  
    • Start module 4
  • A few organizational notes for this week:
    • Please go see Sinaro for office hours Mon & Wed!  He reports almost no one coming to office hours and yet he can help you especially with your project code!!  My office hours were full this week and I know many of you would like to get additional help so please go see him also (he is doing zoom and in person, see slack for the details!)
    • My Thursday office hours this week only are moving to 1:30-3 because I ended up with a required meeting from 3-4.  I’ll be holding the office hours virtually on Thursday (but I’ll be in-person and zoom on Tuesday as usual).
    • If you are an eager beaver and working ahead in the class, you might note that module 5 is partially live now but please do not work ahead in it yet as none of the quizzes or assignments are live yet!  I’ll get those online this week and announce when it is ready.

Week 7 (Oct 2 – 8)

  • Welcome to week 7!  We are almost halfway through the semester.  This week we finish off gaming search.
  • This week’s main tasks are:
    • Finish module 4
    • Start Project 3 (which is now live on the webpage and in canvas).  I’ll do a code push on the gaming asteroids Tuesday (after the final project 2 deadline)
  • Organizational notes (please make sure you are reading these!!)
    • NO hybrid class Thursday Oct 5!  
    • My office hours will be via slack only this week (no zoom, no in-person).  This means they are asynchronous but I’ll try to answer very quickly.   Sinaro is offering an EXTRA office hour Thursday morning 8am also.

Week 8 (Oct 9 – 15)

  • Welcome to week 8!  I hope you had a good (but too short alas!) fall break!  I know I did and I shared a fun video in slack.
  • This week we move to machine learning, where we will remain for the rest of the semester!  This week is just a quick and easy overview and intro to ML and then next week we will get into methods.  
  • This week’s main tasks are:
    • Start & finish Module 5 (it is a one week module, quite short honestly)
    • Work on project 3!  The ladder will start this week.  
  • Remember:
    • Dr Diochnos is teaching for me on Oct 12
    • I’ll be on office hours in zoom on Tuesday but NOT Thursday.  See you back in person next week!
    • I’ll work on getting the next few modules open – last week was extremely busy and so only module 5 is open and ready but I’ll aim to have 6 & 7 done quickly!

Week 9 (Oct 16 – 22)

  • Welcome to week 9!  This week we are jumping into AI/ML methods, starting with traditional AI/ML methods.  
  • Your two main tasks this week are:
    • Start Module 6 (see the schedule to see the topics of when to finish what)
    • Work on project 3!
  • I’m back in person this week so I’ll be at all my office hours in person this week!  and I’ll see the hybrid ones of you in class Thursday!  I’m also aiming to have module 7 ready for you by the end of the week (note, module 6 is 2 weeks long).  
  • Don’t forget to vote in the poll for project 4 & 5!

Week 10 (Oct 23 – 29)

  • Sorry I missed the usual Monday with the formal note!  I was on the last trip of the semester (hence the canceled office hours Tuesday).  I’m back now and will be in person for class and office hours Thursday (as well as hybrid if needed).
  • This week your two main tasks are:
    • Finish Module 6
    • Turn in your Project 4 proposals for feedback (thank you to the one team that already did that!) 
  • Module 7 will be online shortly!  Followed shortly by Module 8!

Week 11 (Oct 30 – Nov 5)

  • Welcome to week 11 of AI!  Even though it is a few weeks away, I wanted to let you know that we will have a live speaker coming to us Nov 30 during our regular class hours and ALL sections are invited (online also, we have plenty of space in the room plus I will share a zoom link closer to the time).  Dr Steve Chien will talk about finding life on other planets and how AI is helping us to do that.  He works for NASA JPL and has been working on this for many years and I’m excited to have him talk!
  • This week’s main tasks are:
    • Module 7 RL is open and ready!  It is a one week module for everything but ethics.  I let the ethics stay open longer as there is a chance for a live talk in a week and I’ll let you decide if you want to do that talk live or watch one of the recorded choices.  
    • Work on project 4.  Everyone who turned it in has feedback and almost everyone has been regraded (a few of you are ignoring my notes, please go see them so I can fix your grades and approve your proposals!)

Week 12 (Nov 6 – 12)

  • Welcome to week 12 of AI!  This week we are starting our last module of fixed topics (the final module topics are all advanced topics requested by the class).  This week we start a two week module on deep learning and generative AI.
  • This week’s main tasks are:
    • Finish Project 4!  It is due Friday!
    • Start Module 8
  • Administrative note:  several of you had grading questions on module 7 quizzes.  I’ll address those shortly but I was focused on getting module 8 to be live!
  • Enjoy and I look forward to hearing from you!

Week 13 (Nov 13 – 19)

  • Welcome to week 13 of AI!  The semester is almost over and I know everyone is in the middle of entirely-too-many-deadlines.  Hopefully with only one project left for this class, we are not contributing much to the too-many-deadlines!  This week is your last week on deep learning and generative AI officially but we will work on some of that in our advanced topics module also.
  • This week’s main tasks are:
    • Do your project 5 part 1 proposal (remember, this one is GA or RL!).  This project is much easier now that you know how to do learning.  Don’t just start it the day before as it is still work but it is much easier now, assuming you figured out how to save data and learn in the last project.  The example GA client can be a big help here also.
    • Finish module 8.
  • Remember next week is Thanksgiving week and you have no modules assigned.  Your only work is project 5 that week!  

Week 14 (Nov 27 – Dec 3)

  • Welcome to the second to last week of AI class!  I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving break and feels refreshed and ready to finish the semester out.  
  • For our final module, we are looking into advanced applications of AI.  This should be a really fun module and it is all online and ready for you.
  • This week we have a guest speaker for the hybrid class and ALL of the online students are invited as well.  You can either come in person or the zoom URL is available for you in your class participation quiz for the week.  If you can’t make it live for either one, then I will be recording and I will post it right after class.  Hybrid students are expected to come to class in person as we will do an in-class Q&A after the talk!  
  • Your main tasks this week are:
    • Work on project 5.  Remember that it is due Friday but accepted without penalty until Monday Dec 4.
    • Do topic 1 of Module 9.  
    • Come to the talk (hybrid: come in-person, online: come in-person or online) this week!
  • See you Thursday!

Week 15 (Dec 4 – 10)

  • Welcome to the last week of AI class!  I hope everyone has had an AWESOME semester!  
  • A request:  Please do your course reflection surveys!  I use these to improve the course in future years and I look forward to hearing from you!!
  • This week you have two tasks:
    • Finish project 5 (and please ask questions if you are stuck!)
    • Finish Module 9
  • See you in class Thursday (hybrid) and in slack (online students).  Hope your semester ends well!!