Professor Receives $99,469 Project Grant
By Shana Altman
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Professor Ingrid Russell received a grant of $99,469 from the National Science Foundation for her collaborative project titled "Machine Learning Laboratory Experiences for Introducing Undergraduates to Artificial Intelligence".
Approximately 90 computer science proposals were submitted and Russell's was one of ten accepted and given funding.
Currently in her twentieth year as a professor at the University, Professor Russell has been involved in the publication of many papers, has co-authored two text books and received countless honors. She also has a M.Phil from Yale.
The two-year long project, hopes to take strides toward computer learning and artificial intelligence.
"The project goal is to develop a framework for teaching core AI topics through a unifying theme of machine learning," Russell said.
"From my perspective, AI is a discipline concerned with the methodology and technology for solving problems that are difficult to solve by other means."
The goals of the project are as to:
* Enhance the student learning experience in the AI course by implementing a unifying theme of machine learning to tie together the diverse topics in the AI course.
* Increase student interest and motivation to learn AI by providing a framework for the presentation of the major AI topics that emphasizes the strong connection between AI and computer science.
* Highlight the bridge that machine learning provides between AI technology and modern software engineering.
* Introduce students to an increasingly important research area, thus motivating them to pursue more advanced courses in machine learning and undergraduate research projects in this area.
The project can be described as developing an introductory AI course in which machine learning is used "as a unifying theme to tie together the diverse topics that are typically covered in the course, through the development of adaptable, hands-on projects that involve the real-world applications," Russell says.
"Students work on the projects in teams to develop machine learning systems. Machine learning systems are programs in which performance is based on past experiences."
Russell said that "there are several types of learning that take place including reinforcement learning, supervised learning and unsupervised learning".
Russell will be the Principal Investigator, but will have two Co-Principal Investigators, Professors Zdravko Markov of CCSU and Todd Neller of Gettysburg College.
Besides the three PI's, there are over 20 affiliate faculty of other universities who will test the material next year as soon as it is finished being developed.
Russell has already started her work along with two students, Eric Brown and Marlon Gregory. Brown is currently attending Yale University for computer science. He describes working on the project as "a wonderful experience. I was able to see how various AI concepts tie together in developing a machine learning system. I was amazed by the wide range of applications of machine learning in various aspects of our lives."
Marketing is a large new field for machine learning because computer systems are able to recognize spending habits; as a result, companies can create the environment in which people spend the most money.
Russell feels that the project "will impact the way the traditional AI course is being taught in many colleges."
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What do you think of the University removing the painting in the Art Gallery (due to copyright issues)?
It was expected because of the controversy surrounding the exhibit
It shouldn't have been up there in the first place; it was too explicit
I haven't heard anything about that