Carnegie Mellon University Launches Undergraduate Degree in Artificial Intelligence – Machine Learning – CMU


Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science will be offering a new undergraduate degree in Artificial Intelligence starting this fall, giving students in-depth knowledge of how to turn large amounts of data into actionable decisions.

SCS created the new AI degree, the first offered by a US university, in response to extraordinary technical advances in AI and the growing demand from students and employers for training to prepare people for careers in AI.

“Artificial intelligence specialists have never been greater, in smaller numbers or in greater demand from employers,” said Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science. “Carnegie Mellon has unparalleled expertise in AI, which makes us uniquely qualified to meet this need for graduates who understand how the power of AI can be harnessed to help people. “

This spring, US News and World Report ranked SCS as the # 1 graduate school for artificial intelligence.

The Bachelor of Computer Science program teaches students to think broadly about methods that can accomplish a wide variety of tasks across many disciplines, said Reid Simmons, professor and researcher in robotics and computer science and director of the new AI degree program. The Bachelor of AI will focus more on how complex inputs – such as vision, language, and huge databases – are used to make decisions or improve human capabilities, he added. AI majors will receive the same solid foundations in computer science and math as other computer science students. In addition, they will have additional lessons in AI-related topics such as statistics and probability, computer modeling, machine learning, and symbolic calculus.

Simmons said the program will also focus on ethics and social responsibility. This will include opportunities for independent studies on the use of AI for social good, such as improving transportation, healthcare or education.

Students accepted by SCS as freshmen may enter the IA degree program in the second year. All students will therefore take first year courses in basic computer skills and introductory courses. This will allow them to make informed choices when declaring a major, whether it’s AI, computer science, or computational biology – the latter being an undergraduate program that began in fall 2017.

Initially, undergraduate AI enrollments will be limited to accommodating more than 100 second-, third- and fourth-year students, or roughly 30-35 new students each year. (SCS welcomes approximately 735 undergraduates.) As of fall 2018, a limited number of second and third year students who have already taken a significant number of relevant courses can apply to join the new AI study program. .

Just as artificial intelligence brings together disciplines such as machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, robotics and human-machine interaction, the teaching of the AI ​​program will be based on the faculty in the Machine Learning Department of SCS, Language Technologies Institute, Robotics Institute, Human-Institute of Computer Interaction and Department of Computer Science.

The degree will build on CMU’s traditional strength in interdisciplinary teaching, particularly in exploring the ethical and societal implications of AI, by involving faculty members from the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Heinz College and the College of Engineering.

CMU has a long history in artificial intelligence, including the creation of the first AI computer program in 1956 and pioneering work in self-driving cars, facial recognition, and natural language processing. Last year, SCS launched its CMU AI Research and Education Initiative, which involves nearly 200 faculty members working in AI-related fields ranging from art to public policy.

CMU was also a leader in education, offering the first college-level course in computer programming in 1958, launching the first doctorate. robotics program and the creation of the world’s first machine learning department. SCS will once again advance computer science education through its AI degree program, said Simmons, who is completing a two-and-a-half-year term as program director in the Computing and Science Branch of Information and Engineering (CISE) of the National Science Foundation and responsible for the National Robotics Initiative. .

“This is an opportunity for us to shape what it means to be an AI degree program, as opposed to offering AI related courses,” Simmons said. The new curriculum will employ the same academic rigor – no more, no less – that has made CMU’s undergraduate program the gold standard for computer science.

“We want to be the first to offer an undergraduate degree in AI,” he continued. “I’m sure we won’t be the last. AI is here to stay.”


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