CS540 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

CS540, Spring 2021
Department of Computer Sciences
University of Wisconsin–Madison



The instructors and TAs will post announcements, clarifications, hints, etc. on Piazza. Hence you must check the CS540 Piazza page frequently throughout the term. If you have a question, your best option is to post a message on Piazza. The staff (instructors and TAs) will check the forum regularly, and if you use the forum, other students will be able to help you too. When using the forum, please do not post answers to homework questions before the homework is due.

If your question is personal or not of interest to other students, you may mark your question as private on Piazza, so only the instructors will see it. If you wish to talk with one of us individually, you are welcome to come to our office hours. Please reserve email for the questions you can’t get answered in office hours or through the forum.


Homework assignments are posted in Canvas. Homework must be submitted via the Canvas system. If there is a programming part, electronically hand in files containing the python code that you wrote for the assignment. We provide specific instructions for each homework.

Academic Integrity

You are encouraged to discuss with your peers, the TA or the instructors ideas, approaches and techniques broadly. However, all examinations, programming assignments, and written homeworks must be written up individually. For example, code for programming assignments must not be developed in groups, nor should code be shared. Make sure you work through all problems yourself, and that your final write-up is your own. If you feel your peer discussions are too deep for comfort, declare it in the homework solution: “I discussed with X,Y,Z the following specific ideas: A, B, C; therefore our solutions may have similarities on D, E, F…”.

You may use books or legit online resources to help solve homework problems, but you must always credit all such sources in your writeup and you must never copy material verbatim.

We are aware that certain websites host previous years’ CS540 homework assignments and solutions against the wish of instructors. Do not be tempted to use them: the solutions may contain “poisonous berries” previous instructors planted intentionally to catch cheating. If we catch you copy such solutions, you automatically fail.

Do not bother to obfuscate plagiarism (e.g. change variable names, code style, etc.) One application of AI is to develop sophisticated plagiarism detection techniques!

Cheating and plagiarism will be dealt with in accordance with University procedures (see the UW-Madison Academic Misconduct Rules and Procedures)

Disability Information

The University of Wisconsin-Madison supports the right of all enrolled students to a full and equal educational opportunity. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Wisconsin State Statute (36.12), and UW-Madison policy (Faculty Document 1071) require that students with disabilities be reasonably accommodated in instruction and campus life. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities is a shared faculty and student responsibility. Students are expected to inform the instructors of their need for instructional accommodations by the end of the third week of the semester, or as soon as possible after a disability has been incurred or recognized. The instructors will work either directly with the student or in coordination with the McBurney Center to identify and provide reasonable instructional accommodations. Disability information, including instructional accommodations as part of a student’s educational record, is confidential and protected under FERPA.(See:McBurney Disability Resource Center)