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Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence

Class Sessions

Date Location Cost
  • Thu Dec 5, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Birch Hall 107 (Birch Lab B) $280

Class Code


Class Description

AI is changing how we work, play, and interact. Learn how Deep Blue defeated the world chess champion. How does Google Maps compute the shortest route? What problems will these algorithms solve next? Prerequisite: Curiosity! No math background required.


Topics Include:

History of Artificial Intelligence

  • Differentiate between artificial general intelligence (largely the domain of science fiction) and the type of task-specific intelligence changing the world today.
  • Interpret the Church-Turing thesis.
  • Describe how to administer a Turing test.
  • Discuss the early optimism in the field and the "AI winters".
  • Contextualize modern news about AI in terms of the history of AI and the techniques taught in this class.


Graph Search

  • Identify real world problems which are graph search problems.
  • Explain the difference between breadth first and depth first search.
  • Apply breadth and depth first search by hand to find the shortest path in given graphs.


Minimax Search

  • Construct a minimax tree for a two-player deterministic game with complete information.
  • Apply minimax search by hand to find the optimal move for each player.
  • Identify applications of minimax search in their own lives.



  • Compute the expected value of a variable.
  • Choose whether to buy shares of a stock or a lottery ticket based on the expected value of the return.



University IT Technology Training classes are only available to Stanford University staff, faculty, or students. A valid SUNet ID is needed in order to enroll in a class.