UMBC CMSC 491/691s Spring 2009
Special Topics: The Semantic Web


This special topics course is available to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. It will introduce the notion of the Semantic Web, provide an overview of the underlying theory and technology, cover existing tools and practices, and highlight current and potential applications. The course will be approximately half lecture and half seminar. Students will be expected to read, discuss and present current research papers. In the first half of the course there will be a series of homework assignments designed to get students familiar with the technology. I the second half, students will work on individual or group projects. For more information, see the syllabus and schedule.

Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites, but ideally students will have taken an AI course (e.g., CMSC 471/671) and a database class (e.g., CMSC 461/661).

Who: Tim Finin, 329 ITE, 410-455-3522,, offcie hours: by appointment

Where and when: Monday and Wednesday in AC IV 015 from 5:30pm to 6:45pm.

Readings: Papers and other material to read will be available online.

Structure: Class time will be spent with about 60% lecture and 40% student-led presentation and discussion of readings. We will use the private class Google group and public class blog to carry out additional discussion, comment and interactions. This will be a required part of the course and the quality and level of your participation in online discussions will play a part in determining your grade.

Assignments: Students will be required to prepare and present material to the class, complete a number of short assignments and engage in a longer project, either individually or as part of a group. I believe that the material in this course is best learned by use it, so the short assignments will be designed to give you opportunities to use the concepts and technologies we cover. Presentations should be done in HTML or Powerpoint and will be added to a collection for the course and posted to the web.

Software: We will use a number of software packages that are available for downloading.

Academic Honesty: Please read this statement on academic honesty.