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Carnegie Mellon Establishes The First Undergrad Degree In AI

5/21/18

By Peter High. Published on Forbes

Starting in the fall of 2018, Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science (SCS) will offer a new undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence, providing students with “in-depth knowledge of how to transform large amounts of data into actionable decisions,” according to a statement put out by the University.

“Specialists in artificial intelligence have never been more important, in shorter supply or in greater demand by employers,” said Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science. “Carnegie Mellon has an unmatched depth of expertise in AI, making us uniquely qualified to address this need for graduates who understand how the power of AI can be leveraged to help people.”hghhhhhh

Reid Simmons is a research professor in the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, and is the new director of the AI program. His research has focused on developing reliable, highly autonomous systems – especially mobile robots – that operate in rich, uncertain environments and on developing robots that can interact socially with humans. I had a chance to catch up with him last week to discuss the new program in greater depth.

Peter High: What was the genesis of this idea?

Reid Simmons: The AI degree had been under consideration  for about four years, but efforts to put the program together began in earnest last fall.  The main impetus was that students wanted to come to CMU to study AI, because of CMU’s centrality in that discipline, but were struggling to obtain the combination of math, statistics, algorithms, sensing, planning, and action needed to develop the appropriate expertise in AI.  By combining the strengths of a number of the departments of the School of Computer Science, we were able to put together a comprehensive curriculum that teaches the basic concepts, as well as in-depth understanding, of AI and Machine Learning.

High: Can you provide some examples of the curriculum?

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