Teaching Artificial Intelligence Playfully

Mike Zyda, Sven Koenig

In this paper, we report on the efforts at the University of Southern California to teach computer science and artificial intelligence with games because games motivate students, which we believe increases enrollment and retention and helps us to educate better computer scientists. The Department of Computer Science is now in its second year of operating its Bachelor's Program in Computer Science (Games), which provides students with all the necessary computer science knowledge and skills for working anywhere in industry or pursuing advanced degrees but also enables them to be immediately productive in the game development industry. It consists of regular computer science classes, game engineering classes, game design classes, game cross-disciplinary classes and a final game project. The Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class is a regular computer science class that is part of the curriculum. We are now converting the class to use games as a motivating topic in lectures and as the domain for projects. We describe both the new bachelor's program and some of our current efforts to teach the Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class with games.

Subjects: 1. Applications; 1. Applications

Submitted: May 4, 2008


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