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									The University of Edinburgh
College of Science and Engineering

Artificial Intelligence

What is Artificial                                           The School of Informatics came top in the UK
                                                             in the last Research Assessment Exercise,
                                                                                                                             What does the course involve?
                                                                                                                             Our BSc Honours, BEng Honours and MA
Intelligence?                                                and received an ‘excellent’ rating in the latest
                                                                                                                             Honours degrees are four years long and
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the attempt to build         Teaching Quality Exercise. As well as a
                                                                                                                             flexible in structure (see sample curriculum
artificial systems that have intelligent behaviour.          thorough grounding in the fundamentals, we
                                                                                                                             overleaf). There is also a possibility of direct
There are two main directions of research. One               offer you a large range of specialist topics, and
                                                                                                                             second year entry into the BSc Honours and
is to understand natural intelligence by the                 the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge
                                                                                                                             BEng Honours degreees for well qualified
use of computer models. The other provides                   research projects. We have excellent and
techniques and technology for building systems               extensive facilities, both for computing and for
capable of intelligent decisions and actions.                the related AI research activities, from robotics               In first year you will study a general course in
Thus AI is both a science and an engineering                 to language analysis. We also have many                         Informatics that includes programming, logic,
discipline. Applications of AI range from ‘smart’            connections to users who require working                        the theory of computation, and the nature of
controllers for household devices, to computers              applications, and you will gain experience in                   information processing. You will study two
that can converse in English, play games, do                 the skills necessary to transform ideas to real                 other subjects in parallel. For most degrees this
intelligent web searches or act as the brain of              systems.                                                        includes a Mathematics course tailored to the
a robot.                                                                                                                     subject. For Joint Honours degrees with other
                                                                                                                             Schools you will also study a first year course in
AI has links with many other subjects including                                                                              this subject. Otherwise your third subject choice
computer science, psychology, philosophy,                    “Although AI involves some
                                                                                                                             can be from any in the University, subject to
engineering, and linguistics. If your interest is            programming, it’s not programming                               availability.
particularly in the connection of computing to               for the sake of programming, it's
human cognitive processes such as thought,                   task oriented. AI has connections                               In the second year you will have specific
language and memory, you might want to                                                                                       Informatics courses that lay the foundations
                                                             with many disciplines, and often
consider the Cognitive Science degree (see                                                                                   of Artificial Intelligence (such as reasoning,
separate information sheet). If your aim is to               involves practical, hands-on project                            search, planning, inference learning, and
build the next generation of intelligent machines            work. Projects I’ve been involved                               language processing), further courses in
then an AI degree will put you at the forefront of           with include: designing and                                     Mathematics or your joint degree subject, and
this fascinating and rapidly expanding field.                implementing genetic algorithms,                                the possibility to continue with an additional
                                                             and a big group project on                                      subject.
                                                             building robots which had to                                    In the third and fourth year (and fifth year
Why study Artificial                                         sweep a mine field. One of the                                  for MInf) your studies will be focused on the
Intelligence at Edinburgh?                                   big advantages of studying at                                   discipline(s) of your chosen degree. You will
                                                                                                                             choose 6-10 courses from the wide range we
The degree in Artificial Intelligence is offered             Edinburgh is that you often find
                                                                                                                             offer in Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science
by the School of Informatics, the largest centre             yourself studying things that have                              and Computational Linguistics (for example
in Europe for the study of this subject. The
                                                             been invented by the person                                     Agent Based Systems, Computational Cognitive
University of Edinburgh was one of the first
places in the world to see the potential of                  lecturing it. If you’re looking for a                           Science, Vision and Robotics, Machine
computers and to introduce the study of Artificial           core book in the field, it’s often                              Learning, Natural Computing, Intelligent
Intelligence, and much of the fundamental work               by an Edinburgh lecturer.”                                      Autonomous Robotics, Knowledge Modelling,
in this area was done at Edinburgh. It is still at                                                                           Machine Translation). In the third year you
                                                             Fiona Love,                                                     will participate in several group projects, and
the forefront of this field, so you will be taught           BSc Artificial Intelligence and Computer
by the researchers who laid the foundations                                                                                  in the fourth year (and fifth year for MInf)
                                                             Science student                                                 complete an individual research project. Some
and are still making key advances. The course
content is regularly reviewed to ensure our                                                                                  examples of recent fourth-year projects include:
students learn about current developments.                                                                                   bagpipe music transcriber; detecting emotions
                                                                                                                             in email text; face detection; mimicking the
                                                                                                                             visual pathway; extending a geometric theorem
                                                                                                                             prover; and star/galaxy classification.
  Degrees in Science and Engineering
                                                                                                                             For more detailed information on degree
  BSc Honours in:                                        MInf (5-year Undergraduate Masters) in:                             structure and content, please see table overleaf
  Artificial Intelligence                                Informatics                                                          or:
  Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science                                                                               student-recruitment/publications-resources/
  Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics                Degrees in Humanities and Social Sciences                           degree-programmes
  Cognitive Science
  BEng Honours in:                                       MA Honours in:
  Artificial Intelligence with Management                Cognitive Science (Humanities)
  Artificial Intelligence and Software Engineering

                 For more information on the new MInf Informatics degree log onto:
              See also separate sheets on Computer Science, Cognitive Science and Software Engineering.

                                     The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336
Artificial Intelligence

What sort of teaching and                              Are there any opportunities                            In a recent survey of first destinations carried
                                                                                                              out by the University’s Careers Service,
assessment methods are used?                           to study abroad?                                       over 90% of Informatics graduates were
You will be taught by a mixture of lectures,           The School of Informatics encourages students          in employment and a further 7% went into
tutorials, practical classes and projects.             to consider the possibility of spending one            further study. Employers included: Cadence,
Lectures enable an efficient transfer of               year of their undergraduate degree course              Civil Service Fast Track, Ingenico Fortronic,
information from staff to students, and usually        (typically the third) at a university in another       Shell International, VIS Entertainment, Credit
include demonstrations of running systems              country. We believe this will help you learn           Suisse First Boston, Citigroup, and the British
and discussion of extended examples, to                a new language and open new employment                 Council. Some graduates have set up their own
complement the presentation of theoretical             markets for you. The School has some specific          companies.
ideas. Tutorials in small groups (typically 8 to 12    exchange schemes with foreign universities,
students) offer the opportunity to ask questions       but we will consider any other university you          What are admissions staff
and receive personalised explanations. We              wish to attend, as long as certain curriculum
recognise that understanding and skills in             requirements are met.                                  looking for?
Artificial Intelligence are often best acquired                                                               The entrance requirements for Artificial
by doing, and hence throughout the course
you will have practical classes and project
                                                       Are there any links with                               Intelligence can be found in the current
                                                                                                              edition of the Undergraduate Prospectus.
work to complete. You will thus develop your           industry or commerce?                                  The simple rule is that we require Higher or
analytical and problem-solving skills, be trained      The School of Informatics has many links               A Level Mathematics (or equivalent). We do
in good practice in programming, and learn to          with industry, stemming from its research              not generally expect or require prior study of
present your work in written reports and verbal        work. The Scottish economy boasts a strong             computer science or related topics; it is more
presentations. Assessment is by a mixture of           IT sector, with many companies located in or           important that you have an interest in this area,
examinations and coursework.                           near Edinburgh. These companies sponsor                and the ability to think logically and creatively.
                                                       scholarships, work placements and prizes, and          Well qualified students may also be offered the

                                                                                                                                                                    PDF version available at:
Typically, in the first two years, your week will                                                             possibility of direct second year entry. If you are
                                                       offer jobs to our students.
contain around 20 timetabled hours of lectures,                                                               made an offer, you will be invited to visit us and
tutorials and practicals, and you will need about
15 to 20 hours private study to consolidate the        Are there any bursaries or                             you will have a one-to-one informal chat with
                                                                                                              one of our members of staff.
material from lectures, prepare for exams, and
to work individually on tutorial and practical
                                                       scholarships available?
assignments. In later years the balance tips
                                                       The School of Informatics awards merit                 How do I find more?
                                                       scholarships (i.e. based on your course                Visit our website:
more towards private study (e.g. with 10 to 15         performance). The scholarships are sponsored
timetabled hours per week) as you develop              by the global software company, KAL. In
independence in thinking and working. You will                                                                Or contact:
                                                       addition, there are prizes sponsored by The
have individual supervision for your final year        British Computer Society, Citigroup, Microsoft,        Informatics Teaching Organisation (ITO)
project.                                               Google, JP Morgan, Freescale, Real Time                School of Informatics
                                                       Engineering and Netcraft. In addition, the             The University of Edinburgh
The School of Informatics provides a number
                                                       University has a range of additional support           Appleton Tower
of support mechanisms to enhance your
                                                       schemes. For more information please visit:            Crichton Street
learning, organised by the Informatics Teaching
                                                                           Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
Organisation (ITO). Each student is assigned a
Personal Tutor who oversees their progress and                                                                Telephone: 0131 650 2706
advises on course choices. Course lecturers            What can I do after my                                 Email:
can be approached outside the lecture times to                                                                                                      (April 2012)
answer questions, and maintain a mailing list or       degree?
news group to inform and support the students          Computers are now ubiquitous in modern life.
on the course each year. Course materials,             Some of the most interesting - and best-paid
including lecture notes, assignment details, and       - opportunities in the future are open to those
                                                       who really know about computing, software and

                                                                                                                                                                    Printed on recycled paper for Student Recruitment and Admissions –
past exam papers and solutions, are always
available online. We also have a student-led           information systems. Graduates with degrees
peer-support system called ‘Cascade’, in which         in Artificial Intelligence have good prospects
experienced students offer an advice service to        of employment, in fields that will shape our
new students with problems or questions.               society, such as economics, entertainment,
                                                       user-friendly technology, mobile systems,
                                                       manufacturing or health, to name but a few.

Typical degree curriculum: BSc Honours in Artificial Intelligence
  Year of study                             Curriculum                                                                Topics

  1st year            Informatics               Mathematics                  Course of             Computation; logic; data; programming
                                                                             your choice

  2nd year            Informatics               Mathematics                  Course of             Formal and Natural Languages; Algorithms; Data
                                                                             your choice           Structures and Learning; Reasoning and Agents

  3rd year            Artificial Intelligence Honours courses and projects

  4th year            Artificial Intelligence Honours courses and projects including a major practical project on which you will write a dissertation

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this leaflet at the time of going to press. However, it will not form part of a contract between the
University and a student or applicant and must be read in conjunction with the Terms and Conditions of Admission set out in the Undergraduate Prospectus.

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