Artificial Intelligence Methods (G5BAIM)
Course Feedback - Academic Year 1999/00
This course is run at Nottingham University. It is a second/third year option. This page summarises the feedback
from the students that attended the course.
All comments are listed.
A response from the lecturer is also given and at the end there are some notes with regards to the examination.
The lecturer is Graham Kendall. Feel free to email me or
visit my home page.
The home page for the course (including a full set of course handouts) can be found
Comments from Course Feedback Forms
- I think he is a brilliant lecturer. If he had been teaching me in the first year I may not have dropped computer science in the first place
- Variety in presentation (powerpoint, slides, notes etc.)
- Good web site - simple and efficient
- Good coursework - really interesting and relevant
- Slides were very good, supported with comprehensive notes
- Good Presentation
- Lectures at 9am were rubbish. I attended none of them as I did not have any other lectures and as notes were on the web there was no incentive to attend
- Slides and notes were good
- Obviously knew what he was talking about
- Enthusiastic about the subject and used planty of interesting examples
- Slow down the lecture pace slightly
- Enthusiastic and clear examples
- Humour retained interest
- Bigger fonts for some of the powerpoint slides
- Very Good notes
- Well structured lectures
- Good use of powerpoint
- Making all notes available on the web is a good thing
- Straucture of course was clearly laid out from the outset
- Stop repeating himself
- He claimed there was no mths in the module, yet there was a fair amount popping up in the lectures
- His lecture notes were up to date
- The coursework set for this year was very difficult. I would have liked the lecturer to set three smaller pieces of coursework
- Interesting lecturer and down to earth
- The coursework was the most effective teaching aid
- I enjoyed the course
- The lecturer is very approachable
- Multiple methods of teacjing (slides, OHP's, spreadhsheets) is good
- Good speaker
- Interesting - simple (most of the time) is conveying concepts
- The lecturer appears to have a good knowledge of the subject area
- Sometimes the lecturer explained something and then went onto a powerpoint slide which said the same thing that we had just been told. This was very dull
- Clear and good pace
- Excellent handouts and overheads
- I think it was unfair to ask people at a 9am lecture which one should be dropped - the "other" people would have been unrepresented there
- I felt the course went too fast and 2 lectures a week would have given me time to understand the course as it went along - as it was I got pretty lost
- The course was just copied out of a a textbook - it might as well have been a correspondence course
- The slides were the most effective teaching method
- Use of AV (audio visual) were the most effective teaching method
- The lecturer is very punctual!
- The lecture notes are very clear
- Generally, a good lecturer
- The lecturer likes his subject
- There was too much content
- The course could do with some exercises
- There are too may 09:00 lectures
- The notes being available on the web is the most effective teaching aid
- Interesting slides
- Use of laser pointer
- Red Dwarf theme
- The lecturer mumbles to himself
- Good Pace
- Review past exam papers would be useful
- Geast lecturers would be useful
- The lecturer really prepared well for the lectures
- Give answers of the exam!!
- The lecturers notes are very good
- The lecturer is helpful and punctual
- Very good notes
- Use of powerpoint is effective
- Comprehensive lecture notes
- The lecturer is approachable for question (direct or EMAIL)
- Good use of audio-visual equipment
- Good examples
- Clear references to other pertinent material
- Provide more "hand-on" opportunites in lectures for learning algorithms and non-assessed coursework
- The lecturers enthusiasm and clear explanations of occasionally complex algorithms was the most effective teaching aid
- There were occasional errors in the slides
- On the whole it was good
- The most effective teaching aid is the lecturers enthusiasm and his humour
- Change some of the colours on the powerpoint slides
- Give practical examples of various techniques
- The lecturer got everything across well
- Nice use of powerpoint
- Maybe a few more interactive bits
- Good use of electronic media, which aided the course
- Other lecturers should takes notes from this lecturer on how a lecture should be structured and presented
- I would like the handouts in the lecture, not off the web, so that I do not have to unzip them
Total Questionnaires Returned = 63
Number of students who sat exam = 119
Overall I am plesaed with this course feedback. Next year, this course may change as it may be split
into two modules. If this is done I will take the opportunity to update my powerpoint slides and try to
develop the areas where I have been criticised (e.g. more interaction, more examples, more hands on).
118 people took the exam for this course. 10 people failed to hand in the coursework.
The figures for the number of candidates who attempted the questions are based on
those questions that contributed towards their marks. That is, if the student attempted five
questions, only four are counted in this report.
The overall average for this course was slightly above what was expected.
The coursework involved writing various search algorithms to solve the 8-puzzle problem.
From the feedback I received the coursework was well received and most people found
it challenging but an enjoyable assignment.
The overall average for the coursework was below the expected average but,
if the 10 people who did not hand in their assignment are excluded from the
calculation then the average is very close to the expected value.
This question was attempted by 110 candidates. The question was similar to previous
exam questions (A* algorithm) and its use had been explained at various times
throughout the lectures.
The question achieved an above average mark, although many students found
difficulty in producing the correct search tree and stating the correct route.
This question was attempted by 110 candidates. It mainly involved genetic
algorithms as well as considering other population based approaches.
The students were divided between
those that could apply the algorithms correctly and those that really had no idea.
The second part of the question was not so well answered with not many students giving
their own ideas, rather they quoted material from the lectures.
The question achieved an above average mark.
This question was attempted by 67 candidates. The question asked the students to
consider two neighbourhood search algorithms (hill climbing and simulated annealing).
In general, the students were able to describe the two search algorithms but
found difficulty in describing the relationship between the two, without giving two
The question also asked the student to show an example of how likely simulated annealing is to
accept a worse move. This was, in general, poorly answered.
This question achieved a below average mark.
This question was attempted by 95 candidates. It asked the students to describe the Turing
Test and The Chinese Room Experiment and then comment on the issues raised by these two
The students gave good, reasoned descriptions and arguments for these topics
and the question achieved an above average mark.
This question was attempted by 10 candidates. This question asked the students
to give their opinion as to what constitutes artificial life and the problems it
would pose. In addition, the students were asked to describe their ideas as to how
a computer program could learn how to play a card game (blackjack).
The low number of students who attempted this question, I assume, shows they
thought it was a difficult question.
This is probably the case as it achieved the lowest average mark of all
This question was attempted by 83 candidates. The question asked the students to
state what functions could be learnt by a perceptron and then comment on how
two types of perceptrons (but identical in operation) could be built.
This question is very similar to questions from previous exams. This is
probably one reason why it achieved the highest average mark and was generally
well answered by those attempting it.