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This is the site for 6.034 Artificial Intelligence, with Professor Patrick Winston.

As a 6.034 student, you are responsible for knowing all of the policies described on this website. You should familiarize yourself with the FAQs and grading policy. If you ask questions that are answered here, or complain about not knowing about policies or resources, the staff will be annoyed.

Logistical stuff:

Reference stuff:



Subject suggestions for Spring 2012

Alas, many fewer than usual AI subjects will be offered this spring, and status of some is still unknown. Check back here from time to time as updates will occur, potentially, up through the end of registration day.

All these are the subjects PHW would particularly mention if you were to go ask him for recommendations.

6.945 Large-scale Symbolic Systems, definitely cancelled, as Professor Sussman has been called to service in MITx.

6.868J The Society of Mind, waiting for information on status, as Professor Minsky taught subject already in the fall, an anomaly.

9.520 Statistical Learning theory, new subject, Professor Poggio et al., not for the mathematically timid. Poggio's interests are centered on understanding biological intelligence, particularly vision.

MAS S60 Special Topics: Practical Natural Language Processing, Dr. Havasi. Awaiting URL. aka 6.803/6.833, The Human Intelligence Enterprise, PHW, lotteried, current P approximately 0.5. Two sections, both taught by PHW, first meeting and lottery on Wednesday, 8 February, contrary to incorrect listing somewhere that the subject will meet on Monday, 6, February.

And then, not exactly at the AI center of gravity, but interesting and student friendly...

6.049J Evolutionary Biology: Concepts, Models and Computation, Professor Berwick. Alas, Professor Berwick is not teaching his natural language subject this spring. If you can't take his evolution subject, be sure to go to Tattersall's guest lecture anyway, which will be announced on this web site as soon as date is fixed.

15.668, People and Organizations, Professor Kochan, immediate past Chair of the Faculty. All about how to be productive, and useful, in your first job by learning negotiation, leadership, and teamwork skills. A good complement to aspects of, but more business oriented.

23 December 2011

You can examine your final in 32-251 throughout IAP.

22 December 2011

The final has been graded and will available for viewing in Professor Winston's office sometime this afternoon and on most days from now until the end of IAP. Thresholds are:

Thorough understanding Adequate understanding
Q1 ≥ 90 ≥ 82
Q2 ≥ 88 ≥ 76
Q3 ≥ 85 ≥ 75
Q4 ≥ 85 ≥ 75
Q5 ≥ 80 ≥ 68

11 December 2011

Solutions for Quiz 4 have been posted. Also, see the Office Hours page for the times and locations of office hours during finals week.

7 December 2011

Quiz 4 has been graded and will be return in recitations Thursday and Friday. Thresholds are:

Thorough understanding Adequate understanding
Problem 1 SVMs ≥ 39 ≥ 34
Problem 2 Boosting ≥ 41 ≥ 37
Problem 3 Representation ≥ 8 ≥ 6
Overall ≥ 88 ≥ 77

6 December 2011

An additional set of SVM and Boosting notes have been added to the reference material page.

16 November 2011

Quiz 3 has been graded and will be return in recitations Thursday and Friday. Solutions are in the Quiz archive tomorrow. Thresholds are:

Thorough understanding Adequate understanding
Problem 1 Nearest neighbors/Classification Trees ≥ 35 ≥ 30
Problem 2 Neural nets ≥ 35 ≥ 29
Problem 3 Learning ≥ 14 ≥ 10
Overall ≥ 84 ≥ 69

15 November 2011

36-155 is the overflow room for those who cannot be seated comfortably in 10-250 for Quiz 3 and Quiz 4.

9 November 2011

No class Friday in observance of Veteran's Day. Please attend Thursday recitations if possible. In addition, Tanya will be holding extra office hours Friday afternoon (4-6pm, w20-575 Athena Cluster), so please stop by with any questions you might have.

4 November 2011

Lab 5 has been released. It is due *Monday* November 21st at 11:59 pm. It covers neural nets and boosting.

28 October 2011

Quiz 2 has been graded and will be return in recitations Thursday and Friday. Solutions are in the Quiz archive. Thresholds are:

Thorough understanding Adequate understanding
Problem 1 Games ≥ 35 ≥ 30
Problem 2 Constraints ≥ 35 ≥ 31
Problem 3 Drawings ≥ 15 ≥ 10
Overall ≥ 85 ≥ 71

22 October 2011

Lab 4 is released. It is due November 4th.

13 October 2011

A link to the office hours schedule has been added under "Logistical stuff".

2 October 2011

Caryn Krakauer will hold office hours from 3-5pm on Thursdays in the 7th floor lobby of the Stata G tower.

1 October 2011

Lab 3 on Games search is released. It is due the evening of Friday, October 14th at midnight.

28 September 2011

Quiz 1 has been graded and will be return in recitations Thursday and Friday. Thresholds are:

Thorough understanding Adequate understanding
Problem 1 Rules ≥ 41 ≥ 35
Problem 2 Search ≥ 39 ≥ 34
Problem 3 Ideas ≥ 8 ≥ 6
Overall ≥ 88 ≥ 75

28 September 2011

A notebook with translucent gray plastic cover was left in the lecture hall today. If it is your notebook, please email the TA mailing list to reclaim it.

26 September 2011

Free food: The VI-A Master of Engineering Thesis Program is presenting an Orientation Meeting and Student Open House followed by a Chinese Buffet on Sept. 27 starting at 5 PM in Grier Room 34-401. This meeting is for all EECS Juniors who may be interested in having an industry based M.Eng thesis fully funded by VI-A member companies.

22 September 2011

Lab 2 is released.

The finals schedule has been posted by the registrar. The 6.034 final exam will be on Wednesday 21 December from 1:30-4:30pm in Johnson.

20 September 2011

Regular lecture will be given on Friday, this week, 23 September.

Also, note that the Thursday, 1-2 recitation is beyond packed, while the Thursday and Friday 3-4 recitation numbers are relatively low. You are free to switch to any recitation session you like; no need to ask.

Gary will hold office hours on Friday, Sep. 23 and Monday, Sep. 26 from 5:00-6:30 PM in room 24-323.

19 September 2011

Tanya will hold office hours on Tuesdays from 6pm - 9pm in 34-302. Feel free to stop by with any questions, especially about the labs or old quiz problems.

14 September 2011

Lab 1 is released. Click on Labs link above.

Tutorial assignments have been published. Please check here to ensure we have you assigned to a tutorial and that it is the one you expect.

12 September 2011

Recitation room numbers corrected.

11 September 2011

Lab 0 is released. Click on Labs link above.

10 September 2011

If you are on our mailing list, you have received a message with this content. Otherwise, read on.

There are no 6.034 tutorials this coming week. Tutorials will start on September 19 and September 20. You will hear from your assigned TA about your tutorial time and place during the next few days.

Ordinary recitations will start this coming week, September 15 and September 16. You should attend the recitation assigned by the registrar.

The megarecitation, wrapped around heuristics for solving quiz problems, also start this coming week, Friday, september 16, 10 am, 10-250.

If you are a special student, from Harvard, or in some other special category, send a message to Peter Brin (pebrin at mit dot edu) asking him to put you on our mailing list. If you are a MIT student, you will get on our list automatically the day you add the subject.

Non urgent news, such as quiz results, will appear only on this home page so as not to clutter up your email.

9 September 2011

Clarification: Lectures are on Monday and Wednesday 10-11. Megarecitation is on Friday, 10-11, also in 10-250. Per message below, no megarecitation during first week.

7 September 2011

No regular recitations this week. No megarecitation this week. If you have not filled out a tutorial scheduling form, fetch one from outside 32-251 and give it to Professor Winston or slide it under his door.

4 September 2011 (Revised)

What if I haven't registered yet and do not have a recitation assignment?

We may add recitation sections, so the registrar's assignments may or may not be used. Stay tuned.


The official language of 6.034 is Python for a variety of reasons having little to do with the strengths and weaknesses of the language. We expect a focused weekend with any of the many Python books would be adequate preparation. See, for example, the Amazon list.

Alternatively, you can follow one of the suggestions of Rob Speer, head 6.034 TA in 2008:

  • Dive into Python is a well-recommended book that is available online. It's written for experienced programmers who just don't know Python yet. It's meant to quickly take what you already know about other languages and explain how Python does them.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, the text that was used in 6.00 has been expanded into one called Think Python. It's online. It is targeted at people who have not programmed much or at all.
  • In the middle is the O'Reilly book Learning Python. MIT has a subscription to O'Reilly, so anyone with an MIT IP address can read the book online.

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