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Colonel Mustard, rope, library take on new life in teaching artificial intelligence
Contact: Kendra Branchick, 717-337-6801,

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Was it Colonel Mustard in the library with the rope? Gettysburg College computer science Prof. Todd Neller is showing students how artificial intelligence (A.I.) can solve the murder mystery.

The popular board game Clue, the dice game Pig and the reasoning challenges of both are part of an A.I. curricular development project by a team of computer science professors, funded by a two-year $99,460 grant from the National Science Foundation. The team includes Neller, University of Hartford Prof. Ingrid Russell and Central Connecticut State University Prof. Zdravko Markov.

The team is designing laboratory exercises for introductory A.I. courses. The experiences focus on reasoning and logic techniques used in playing board or dice games. In Clue, players use deduction and reasoning involving six suspects, six weapons and nine rooms as they try to solve the who, what and where. Pig is a simple probability game using one die. Neller, a game and puzzle expert, uses Clue to teach knowledge representation and reasoning, and Pig to teach value iteration.

“This NSF project, ‘Machine Learning Laboratory Experiences for Introducing Undergraduates to Artificial Intelligence,’ will offer a variety of new and interesting projects for teaching A.I. to college and university professors world-wide,” Neller said.

More information about Clue, Pig and the NSF research grant is available at or

Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. With approximately 2,500 students, it is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to Gettysburg National Military Park. The college was founded in 1832.


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