An Interdisciplinary Course on Artificial Intelligence Designed for a Liberal Arts Curriculum

Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 23(3):120-127, .



This article introduces a course the author recently designed; and which was first taught in Fall 2006. The course provides an introduction to the field of artificial intelligence (AI) focused at non-majors as part of a liberal arts curriculum. The course provides an overview of the foundational science and philosophy at the heart of AI from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course largely focuses on the diverse applications to many fields of endeavor, and the impact AI is beginning to have on areas of society as well as the potential future impact. The course draws together topics from diverse fields including computer science, philosophy, psychology, game theory, among others. One of the goals of the course is to engage students from disciplines outside the computing sciences, while drawing on the strengths of their individual backgrounds. A secondary objective is to raise awareness among students outside of the computing sciences that there is more to computer science than programming and mathematics (e.g., that some CS topics are highly interdisciplinary). A key teaching element of this course is that of utilizing prior knowledge for discussion context.