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To anyone who's never done the Pacman projects: I highly recommend them[1]. They are an absolute blast and incredibly satisfying. Plus, if you don't know Python, they are a great way to learn.

The course I took used the Norvig text[2] as a textbook, which I also recommend.

[1]http://ai.berkeley.edu/project_overview.html. See the "Lectures" link at the top for all the course videos/slides.

[2]http://www.amazon.com/Artificial-Intelligence-Modern-Approac... Note that the poor reviews center on the price, the digital/Kindle edition and the fact that the new editions don't differ greatly from the older ones. If you've never read it and you have the $$, a hardbound copy makes a great learning and reference text, and it's the kind of content that's not going to go out of date.

I'll second the recommendation for Norvig and Russell's text. It's the first textbook I've ever actually wanted to sit down and read outside of assignments.

-edit for spelling

My intro to AI course at NYU uses the Ms. Pac-Man vs Ghost Teams framework for all of the assignments. It is indeed a very good starter problem.

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