Welcome to the Fall 2011 homepage for CMPSCI 240: Reasoning About Uncertainty

  • Instructor:
  • TA:
    • Phil Kirlin
    • Office hours: 2-3pm Monday, 10-11am Thursday in LGRT 220

  • Lectures:
    • Tuesday, Thursday, 1:00 to 2:15 pm in CMPS 142. Discussion Thursday 4:00 to 4:50 in CMPS 142.

  • Textbooks:
    • Reasoning About Uncertainty by David Mix Barrington
    • Introduction to Probability by Charles M. Grinstead and J. Laurie Snell. See here for solution of the odd numbered exercises.

  • Homeworks:
  • Programming Assignments:
  • Grade Breakdown:
    • Midterm Exams (30%): There will be three midterm exams each counting 10% of your grade.
    • Final Exam (25%): This will be during the December final exam period as scheduled by the University, and will be cumulative, though with greater emphasis on the last quarter of the course. You will have two hours. This exam will count for 25% of your final grade, except that I will count it for 50%, and reduce the weights of all other components proportionally, if this is to your advantage.
    • Homework (15%): There will be seven homework assignments during the term. Together they will count for 15% of your final grade. Homework is due at the start of class and late homework will receive zero marks... but only the best six of the seven will count, for 2.5% each. You may discuss the homework in groups of at most 3, but you must write solutions separately. Write who you discussed the problems with.
    • Discussions (10%): About four of the Thursday discussion periods will have in-class writing assignments, usually based on "Excursion" sections of the text. You will be divided randomly into groups of two or three and each group will hand in a response to the assignment. These will be graded "check" (B) or "check-plus" (A), and the best three of your four will count for 10% of your total grade.
    • Programming Projects (20%): Each section of the course will have a programming project for which you will hand in code. The project may be done in (student-chosen) pairs. Note that exam and homework questions may refer to the body of code in the projects. Together they will count for 20% of your final grade. Late assignments will receive zero marks... but only the best three of the four will count, for 6.66% each. Note that some of the Thursday discussion periods are devoted to introducing or working on the programming projects.

  • Academic Honesty Policy: All work submitted must be your own in presentation. Furthermore,
    • Exams: Closed-book and no outside help is allowed.
    • Programming projects: You may use the two course textbooks and generic Java textbooks. You can’t use any preexisting code that isn’t given to you by the TA/instructor.
    • Homework: No reference material (e.g., the web) is allowed other than the course textbooks and slides. Can only discuss homework with your group and the TA/instructor.
    Cheating will result in an F or worse. UMass policy can be found here. If you’re having problems in the course, talk to me. . .

  • Schedule:
    Date Description Materials Due
    PART I: Basic Probability and Counting
    Tue 6 Sept Overview and Basic Probability Definitions Slides
    Thu 8 Sept Probability Definitions and Counting Slides
    Thu 8 Sept Discussion: The Problem of Sorting
    Tue 13 Sept Double-Counting and Inclusion/Exclusion Slides
    Thu 15 Sept First and Second Counting Problems Slides HW1
    Thu 15 Sept Discussion: Programming Assignment #1
    Tue 20 Sept Third and Fourth Counting Problems Slides
    Thu 22 Sept Counting Poker Hands Slides
    Thu 22 Sept Discussion: Revision for First Midterm Slides Exam S10 (Solutions), Exam F09 (Solutions), Exam S09 (Solutions)
    Tue 27 Sept FIRST MIDTERM Exam (Solutions)
    PART II: Probability and Expected Value
    Thu 29 Sept Random Variables and Expectation Slides PA1
    Thu 29 Sept Discussion: Programming Assignment #2
    Tue 4 Oct Variance and Binomial Distribution Slides
    Thu 6 Oct Geometric Distribution and Coupons Slides HW2
    Thu 6 Oct Discussion: Analysis of Craps
    Tue 11 Oct No Class (Monday Schedule)
    Thu 13 Oct Markov and Chebyshev Slides
    Thu 13 Oct Discussion: Exam and Homework Review
    Tue 18 Oct Finishing Coupons and Union Bounds Slides
    Thu 20 Oct Hashing and Walking Slides PA2
    Thu 20 Oct Discussion: Revision for Second Midterm Handout Exam S10 (Solutions), Exam F09 (Solutions), Exam S09 (Solutions)
    Tue 25 Oct SECOND MIDTERM Exam (Solutions) HW3
    PART III: Probabilistic Reasoning
    Thu 27 Oct Conditional Probability and Event Trees Slides
    Thu 27 Oct Discussion: Going over exam
    Tue 1 Nov Bayes and Total Probability Slides
    Thu 3 Nov Priors and Bayesian Reasoning Slides
    Thu 3 Nov Discussion: Programming Assignment #3 Overview
    Tue 8 Nov Combining Data Slides HW4
    Thu 10 Nov Naive Bayes Classifiers Slides
    Thu 10 Nov Discussion: Revision for Third Midterm Handout Exam S10 (Solutions), Exam F09 (Solutions), Exam S09 (Solutions) Note that some of the answers use ``odds" in their calculation whereas in more recent incarnations of the course (including this one) we've used Bayes Formula and priors more directly.
    Tue 15 Nov THIRD MIDTERM Exam (Solutions) HW5
    PART IV: Markov Processes and Information Theory
    Thu 17 Nov Markov Chains Slides PA3
    Thu 17 Nov Discussion: Programming Assignment #4 Overview
    Tue 22 Nov Steady State Distributions Slides
    Thu 24 Nov No Class (Thanksgiving)
    Thu 24 Nov No Class (Thanksgiving)
    Tue 29 Nov Markov Decision Processes Slides
    Thu 1 Dec Game Theory Slides
    Thu 1 Dec Discussion: Analysis of Blackjack
    Tue 6 Dec Information Theory for Transmission Slides PA4
    Thu 8 Dec Information Theory for Compression Slides HW6/7
    Thu 8 Dec Discussion: Revision for Final Exam Handout Exam S10 (Solutions), Exam F09 (Solutions), Exam S09 (Solutions)
    12 Dec FINAL EXAM: 4pm ECSC0119