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Welcome to the 2016 Edition of 6.034

Logistical stuff:

Reference stuff:

  • Labs (also known as "problem sets")

Note that the current staff mailing list is 6.034-2016-staff at


20 October 2016: Quiz 2 thresholds

Quiz 2 will be returned in recitations on Monday and Tuesday. Beginning Wednesday, you may pick up your quiz from Professor Winston's office (32-251) when he is in, or contact your TA to arrange a pick-up. Thresholds are:

Thorough understanding (5) Acceptable understanding (4) Some understanding (3) / Needs work
Problem 1: Constraints ≥ 45 ≥ 39 ≥ 33
Problem 2: ID Trees ≥ 31 ≥ 24 ≥ 20
Problem 3: kNN ≥ 12 ≥ 9 ≥ 6
Total ≥ 88 ≥ 72 ≥ 59

Thorough understanding (5) Acceptable understanding (4) Some understanding (3) / Needs work
Spiritual and right-now ≥ 5 ≥ 4 ≥ 3

18 October 2016: Quiz 2 locations

Quiz 2 is tomorrow during class time (10 AM). If you were in Walker for the first quiz, you will be in 10-250, and vice versa. That is:

  • Family name A-L: 10-250
  • Family name M-Z: Walker, 3rd floor

30 September 2016: Right now with Professor Gerald Sussman

28 September 2016: Quiz 1 thresholds

Quiz 1 will be returned in recitations on Monday and Tuesday. Beginning Wednesday, you may pick up your quiz from Professor Winston's office (32-251) when he is in, or contact your TA to arrange a pick-up. Thresholds are:

Thorough understanding (5) Acceptable understanding (4) Some understanding (3) / Needs work
Problem 1: Search ≥ 31 ≥ 26 ≥ 21
Problem 2: Rule-Based Systems ≥ 36 ≥ 30 ≥ 26
Problem 3: Games ≥ 20 ≥ 16 ≥ 12
Total ≥ 87 ≥ 72 ≥ 59

27 September 2016: Quiz 1 locations

Quiz 1 is tomorrow during class time (10 AM). Half of you will take the quiz in Walker, half in 10-250, enabling less crowded conditions. Locations:

  • Family name A-L: Walker, 3rd floor
  • Family name M-Z: 10-250

21 September 2016: Final date announced

We have just learned that the 6.034 final will be Tuesday, 20 December 2016, 1:30 to 4:30. Conflict exam schedule will not be set until just after drop date.

19 September 2016: Lab 3 released

Lab 3 has been released. Lab 3 covers games, which will be one of the three topics on Quiz 1. In keeping with our principle of having labs due before the relevant quiz, Lab 3 will be due next Monday, September 26; Quiz 1 will follow on Wednesday, September 28.

Quiz 1 covers rule-based systems (Lab 1), search (Lab 2), and games (Lab 3).

15 September 2016: Lab 2 released; Lab 0 solution + office hours posted

Three announcements:

1. Lab 2, on basic search (yesterday's lecture) and optimal search (tomorrow's lecture), has been released. Lab 2 is due by Thusday, September 22 at 10:00pm. Labs 1 and 2 are due in the same week, so we recommend working on them in parallel. You can think of them as one longer lab, split into two separately graded sections.

2. The solution to Lab 0 is now viewable (and downloadable) online:

Although we generally will not post lab solutions, we are providing this one for Lab 0 to demonstrate some useful implementation techniques that may come in handy for future labs, as well as few fun Python tricks.

3. The weekly office hour schedule for the semester is available. Room numbers will be added to the page as we receive them from the scheduling office. Throughout the semester, the page will be updated with any last-minute changes to office-hour times or locations.

14 September 2016: 3-unit add-on subject - Important announcements

A couple of announcements regarding the 3-unit add-on section taught on Fridays.

1. If you would like to get credit for it, please register on-line in the usual way (using the Registrar's link) using the subject number 6.S063.

2. We will have 2 Friday sessions, 2pm and 3pm. For people who came last time and filled in preference forms, it appears that we will have enough space so that you can attend the time you prefer, either 2 or 3 pm, without having to re-assign anyone or run a lottery. If you didn't come last week and want to sign up, you still can. Listeners are welcome.

We're still waiting for the numbers to stabilize, so for this week we will hold both the 2pm and 3pm sections in 10-250. We will most likely move to more reasonably sized rooms after this week.

12 September 2016: Lab 1 released

Lab 1, on rule-based systems, has been released. It is due by next Tuesday, September 20, at 10:00pm.

10 September 2016: Recitation assignments

...are now available via the Recitation Self-Service page (certificates required). If you have not been assigned to a section, please use the page to join one.

Summer 2016

New opportunity in 2016

The 2016 edition of 6.034 will offer an optional 3-unit add-on set of lectures given by Professor Robert C. Berwick. This addition will supplement the main lectures and recitations because it will focus on the science side of 6.034, addressing long-standing scientific questions and biological intelligence, rather than existing tools for building applications. Evolution and human language will be emphasized.

The add on is scheduled to meet on Fridays, either 2-3pm or 3-4pm, in room 36-372.

We are pleased to note ...

...that Bloomberg has listed 6.034 as among "Five of the Best Computer Science Classes in the U.S."

What they meant to say is that 6.034 has had outstanding TAs. Among them is head-TA Jessica Noss, the 2016 winner of the EECS Carlton E. Tucker Award for outstanding teaching as a graduate-student teaching assistant.

Road map

To see how 6.034 outcomes relate to the outcomes of other subjects in the Course 6 curriculum, see the graphical display in the 6.034 Curricular Goals Map

About 6.034, Fall 2016 Edition

In the fall semester of 2016, 6.034 will meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 to 11 in 10-250. Most, but not all of Professor Winston's lectures will be on Monday and Wednesday. On many, but not all Fridays, you will learn about what is happening in the field right now from someone who is doing work right now in an area related to the Monday and Wednesday lectures.

Examinations will cover material from the traditional lectures as well as the right-now lectures. It will be extremely difficult to field questions on the right-now material if you do not attend the right-now lectures because the material is not yet in textbooks or, in many cases, published papers.

Recitations (previously known as "tutorials") will meet weekly on Monday and Tuesday. On the first day of class, you will fill out a form that will enable us to assign you to a recitation.

6.034 is no longer offered in the spring term.

More details will emerge during the first lecture on Wednesday, 7 September 2016.

What should I take after 6.034?

For 6.034 alums looking for related subjects, we recommend the following, as of 31 January 2016. There may be additions through registration day.

Subjects of note, Fall

Instructor Number Title
Brian Williams 16.410J/16.413J Principles of Autonomy and Decision Making
Gerald Sussman 6.946 Classical mechanics: a computational approach

Subjects associated with the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines

Many subjects are taught, Spring and Fall, by faculty associated with the Center for Brains Minds and Machines.

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