Artificial Intelligence

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

  Degrees in Science and Engineering
  BSc Honours in:                                         MInf (5-year Undergraduate Masters) in:
  Artificial Intelligence                                 Informatics
  Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science
  Artificial Intelligence and Mathematics                 Degrees in Humanities and Social Sciences
  BEng Honours in:                                        MA Honours in:
  Artificial Intelligence with Management                 Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence
  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                           entertainment, user-friendly technology, mobile
                                                                                                            systems, manufacturing or health, to name but
assessment methods are used?                          to study abroad?                                      a few. And Edinburgh graduates are very highly
You will be taught by a mixture of lectures,          The School of Informatics encourages students         regarded by employers, so the choice is yours!
tutorials, practical classes and projects.            to consider the possibility of spending one
                                                                                                            In a recent survey of first destinations carried
Lectures enable an efficient transfer of              year of their undergraduate degree course
                                                                                                            out by the University’s Careers Service,
information from staff to students, and usually       (typically the third) at a university in another
                                                                                                            over 90% of Informatics graduates were
include demonstrations of running systems             country. We believe this will help you learn
                                                                                                            in employment and a further 7% went into
and discussion of extended examples, to               a new language and open new employment
                                                                                                            further study. Employers included: Cadence,
complement the presentation of theoretical            markets for you. The School has some specific
                                                                                                            Civil Service Fast Track, Ingenico Fortronic,
ideas. Tutorials in small groups (typically 8-12      exchange schemes with foreign universities,
                                                                                                            Shell International, VIS Entertainment, Credit
students) offer the opportunity to ask questions      but we will consider any other university you
                                                                                                            Suisse First Boston, Citigroup, and the British
and receive personalised explanations. We             wish to attend, as long as certain curriculum
                                                                                                            Council. Some graduates have set up their own
recognise that understanding and skills in            requirements are met.
Artificial Intelligence are often best acquired
by doing, and hence throughout the course
you will have practical classes and project
                                                      Are there any links with                              What are admissions tutors
work to complete. You will thus develop your          industry or commerce?                                 looking for?
analytical and problem-solving skills, be trained     The School of Informatics has many links with
                                                                                                            The entrance requirements for Artificial
in good practice in programming, and learn to         industry, stemming from its research work. The
                                                                                                            Intelligence can be found in the current
present your work in written reports and verbal       Scottish economy boasts a strong IT sector,
                                                                                                            edition of the Undergraduate Prospectus.
presentations. Assessment is by a mixture of          with many companies located a short distance
                                                                                                            The simple rule is that we require Higher or
examinations and coursework.                          away from Edinburgh. These companies
                                                                                                            A Level Mathematics (or equivalent). We do
                                                      sponsor scholarships, work placements and
Typically, in the first two years, your week will                                                           not generally expect or require prior study of
                                                      prizes, and offer jobs to our students.
contain around 20 timetabled hours of lectures,                                                             computer science or related topics; it is more
tutorials and practicals, and you will need about                                                           important that you have an interest in this area,
15 to 20 hours private study to consolidate the       Are there any bursaries or                            and the ability to think logically and creatively.
material from lectures, prepare for exams, and
to work individually on tutorial and practical
                                                      scholarships available?                               Well qualified students may also be offered the
                                                      The School of Informatics awards merit                possibility of direct second year entry. You will
assignments. In later years the balance tips          scholarships (i.e. based on your course               be invited to visit us and you will have a one-
more towards private study (e.g. with 10 to 15        performance). The scholarships are sponsored          to-one informal chat with one of our members
timetabled hours per week) as you develop             by Barclay’s Capital, IBM, KAL and MYSIS. We          of staff.
independence in thinking and working. You will        also have paid work placements sponsored by
have individual supervision for your final year
                                                      IBM and Sun Microsystems. In addition, there
                                                      are prizes sponsored by Agilent Technologies,
                                                                                                            How do I find more?
                                                                                                            Visit our website:
The School of Informatics provides a number           The British Computer Society, Citigroup,
of support mechanisms to enhance your                 Microsoft, Google, Barclays Capital, Unilever,        Or contact:
learning, organised by the Informatics Teaching       Xerox, Real Time Engineering and Sun
Organisation (ITO). Each student is assigned          Microsystems. The University has a range of           Informatics Teaching Organisation (SRA)
a Director of Studies who oversees their              additional support schemes.                           School of Informatics
progress and advises on course choices.                                                                     The University of Edinburgh
Course lecturers can be approached outside            What can I do after my                                Appleton Tower
                                                                                                            Crichton Street
the lecture times to answer questions, and
maintain a mailing list or news group to inform       degree?                                               Edinburgh, EH8 9LE
and support the students on the course each           Studies indicate that demand for graduates
                                                                                                            Telephone: 0131 650 9970
year. Course materials, including lecture notes,      in computing will outstrip supply over the next
assignment details, and past exam papers              ten years. Computers are now ubiquitous in
                                                                                                                                                   (May 2010)
and solutions, are always available online. We        modern life. The most interesting - and best-
also have a student-led peer-support system           paid - opportunities in the future are open
called ‘Cascade’, in which experienced students       to those who really know about computing,
offer an advice service to new students with          software and information systems. Graduates                                                                Printed on recycled paper for Student Recruitment and Admissions –

problems or questions.                                with degrees in Artificial Intelligence have
                                                      excellent prospects of employment, in fields
                                                      that will shape our society, such as economics,

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

  1st year           Informatics              Mathematics                   Course of             Computation; logic; data; programming; cognitive
                                                                            your choice           psychology; learning perception; research methods.

  2nd year           Informatics              Mathematics                   Course of             Computer systems; algorithms and data structures; problem
                                                                            your choice           solving, learning and planning; neuropsychology;
                                                                                                  socio-biology; statistics
  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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