Carnegie Mellon Offers Bachelor's Degree In AI
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 18 May 2018

Carnegie Mellon is pioneering a Bachelor of Science degree in artificial intelligence beginning in September 2018, to address the growing demand for AI expertise.  

cmulogoCurrently, several American universities offer degrees in Computer Science and Computer Engineering that have tracks in AI, but Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science (SCS), which has been ranked as the No. 1 graduate school for artificial intelligence, is the first to introduce a distinct undergraduate major in the field. 

CMU also has been a leader in education, offering the first university-level course in computer programming in 1958, launching the first Ph.D. program in robotics and creating the world's first Machine Learning Department. It comes within the top ten in rankings for Computer Science among universities worldwide, see Top University For Computer Science and we have reported on its success with AI in the realm of poker.

Reid Simmons, research professor of robotics and computer science and director of the new AI degree program said the development is:

"an opportunity for us to shape what it means to be a degree program in AI, as opposed to offering courses related to AI. 

Students wanting to pursue AI as a major will enrol initially in the School of Computer Science and their first year courses, covering core computer science competencies and maths courses, will be the same as those majoring in computer science or computational biology, an undergraduate degree program that began in fall 2017.

While the bachelor's degree program in computer science teaches students to think broadly about methods that can accomplish a wide variety of tasks across many disciplines, the bachelor's degree in AI will focus more on how complex inputs, such as vision, language and huge databases, are used to make decisions or enhance human capabilities. In addition, they will have additional coursework in AI-related subjects - statistics and probability, computational modeling, machine learning and symbolic computation.

Simmons said the program also would include a strong emphasis on ethics and social responsibility. This will include independent study opportunities in using AI for social good, such as improving transportation, health care or education.

Students accepted by SCS as first-year students will be able to enter the AI degree program in their second year. Initially, AI undergraduate enrollment will accommodate no more than 100 second-, third- and fourth-year students — or about 30-35 new students each year from among around 735 enrolled in SCS. In fall 2018, a limited number of second- and third-year students who have already taken a substantial number of relevant courses can apply to join the new AI degree program.

There is likely to be strong competition to join the program and its output will only cater for a tiny fraction of the current demand. However CMU's initiative is likely to be emulated by other institutions.

As Simmon's commented:

"We wanted to be the first to offer an AI undergraduate degree. I'm sure we won't be the last. AI is here to stay."




More Information

Carnegie Mellon Launches Undergraduate Degree in Artificial Intelligence

B.S. in Artificial Intelligence

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Last Updated ( Friday, 18 May 2018 )