Q260 is an introduction to programming for cognitive science students, using the modern object-oriented programming language Python. Coursework will consist of programming homework assignments and in-class quizzes. Assignments will focus on implementing simple agents that live and interact in a simulated world.
Q320 is an overview of programming techniques in cognitive science and an introduction to a selection of artificial intelligence algorithms. Students are expected to have taken Q260 or at least one programming class but are not expected to know Python, the programming language we will use in the course. The course is not appropriate for those with extensive programming experience, including those majoring in Computer Science or Informatics. Students in these programs who are also majoring in Cognitive Science should take Q351, "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Computer Simulation", instead of Q260/320. For most of the course we will continue working within the simulated world of Q260, exploring some computational approaches to perception, action, learning, and evolution. The course will also cover the implementation of graphical user interfaces. Coursework will consist of programming homework assignments and a programming project.
The textbook for Q260 and Q320 is Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist, Version 1.3.3 by Allen B. Downey (Needham, MA: Green Tree Press, 2012). You should download the version of the book that's appropriate for Python 3. There will also be online lecture notes that you will be expected to read.