NEW BRITAIN -- Zdravko Markov, associate professor of computer science at Central Connecticut State University, has been named co-principal investigator on an Artificial Intelligence project.

Working with Ingrid Russell, professor of computer science at the University of Hartford, Markov is developing curricula to provide students at both universities with machine learning experiences. These are programs widely known as "Artificial Intelligence," often abbreviated as "AI."

Markov said the project involves "developing, implementing, and testing curricular materials that teach core Artificial Intelligence topics using a unifying theme of machine learning. Machine learning involves developing systems or programs that improve their performance based on experience."

The project will be funded with a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

"The project is funded by the Foundation’s Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement program, which seeks to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education," said Dawn Pierpoint-Grzan, CCSU’s director of sponsored programs. "Some 281 proposals in math, science, and engineering were submitted nationwide."

Markov’s and Russell’s current work builds on the success of their earlier AI project, also funded by the foundation.

Artificial intelligence has been developed in one form or another for more than 50 years. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor, John McCarthy, who coined the term in 1956, defines AI as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines." McCarthy says the ultimate effort is to develop computer programs that can solve problems and achieve goals as well as humans can.

During the foundation project, 26 modules will be integrated into a one-term AI course. Each module will require design and implementation of a machine learning system in a specific application. The applications include network security, game playing, intelligent agents, computational chemistry, robotics, conversational systems, cryptography, web document classification, vision, data integration in databases, bioinformatics(information science applied to biology), pattern recognition, and data mining.

Scott Whipple can be reached at swhipple@newbritainherald.com or by calling (860)225-4601, ext. 319.