Preface: Improving Instruction of Introductory AI

Marti A. Hearst

This symposium was motived by a desire to address the oft-voiced complaint that introductory artificial intelligence is a notoriously difficult course to teach well. The response to the initial announcement was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. From the comments we received, it became clear that a large number of in- structors are struggling with this course and feel that the time is ripe for such a symposium. The papers collected here present constructive suggestions for many of the problems posed by the call for participation. A central part of the call requested that the authors identify underlying themes that can be used to help structure the material, even if they do not precisely reflect all of the current viewpoints of the field. An unforeseen consequence is that these working notes reveal not only trends in teaching introductory AI, but also trends in how its members currently perceive the field.

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