Artificial Intelligence

Carnegie Mellon to Offer Undergrad AI Degrees

Carnegie Mellon University has unveiled plans to launch an undergraduate degree program in artificial intelligence this fall.

Offered through the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, the program will be the first undergrad degree in AI offered in the nation, according to information released 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, in a prepared statement. "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."

Students in the program will receive the same foundation in math and computer science as other computer science bachelor's students, but will focus more on how complicated inputs such as huge databases or language can be used to make decisions or help people. Additional coursework will include classes in areas such as statistics and probability, symbolic computation, computational modeling and machine learning, as well as an emphasis on ethics and social responsibility that will include independent study into using AI for social good.

Students looking to major in AI will be able to declare their major beginning in their second year, a requirement students majoring in other areas of computer science must meet as well, and the program will accept 100 students total, or about 30-35 each in their second, third or fourth year.

Instructors for the program will be drawn from across the School of Computer Science and will feature interdisciplinary instruction from faculty in the humanities, public policy and engineering to ensure exploration of social and ethical issues.

"It's an opportunity for us to shape what it means to be a degree program in AI, as opposed to offering courses related to AI," said Reid Simmons, research professor of robotics and computer science and director of the new AI degree program, in a prepared statement. "We want to be the first to offer an AI undergraduate degree," Simmons added. "I'm sure we won't be the last. AI is here to stay."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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