After reading Jonathan Schaeffer's One Jump Ahead detailing his interesting march toward creating a world class caliber checkers player, I decided that it was a very interesting programming project. I had done some work on alpha-beta search way back in graduate school, but really hadn't kept up with it, so I was basically relearning all the stuff that I knew back then, plus a bunch of new advancements and subtleties that I didn't understand or appreciate.
So, my checkers program, Milhouse, was born.
I haven't had the time to write this up, but I have made quite a bit of progress on this. It's able to solve some pretty interesting problems. Try this one: white is to move and win. Milhouse sees the win in 0.3 seconds on my old desktop.