Carnegie Mellon welcomes our robot overlords with first-ever AI undergraduate degree

Carnegie Mellon welcomes our robot overlords with first-ever AI undergraduate degree
Credit: Nicole Gray

Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science will offer an undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence starting in the upcoming fall semester. The Pittsburgh-based school is the first to offer such a program in the US.

Many industry experts believe there aren’t enough qualified candidates in the workforce to fill all the vacancies that technology companies have for people with AI-related skills. This program could contribute quality candidates, though perhaps more importantly the prestige of Carnegie Mellon may spur other institutions to offer similar programs.

We asked the director of the new AI program, professor of robotics and computer science Reid Simmons, how a B.S. in AI (BSAI) will prepare students for graduate studies:

We believe that students will be well prepared for graduate work in AI and related disciplines, such as machine learning, robotics and language technologies. The coursework will give students a very solid foundation in math, statistics and computer science, along with a comprehensive exposure to the breadth of subjects in artificial intelligence, including symbolic and probabilistic reasoning, search and planning, graphical models, robotics, computer vision, language understanding, and human-AI interaction. Students will learn the fundamental theory behind these subjects, along with how to use and develop AI techniques. Many opportunities will be available for undergraduates to do research, which will further help prepare them for graduate work.

As far as curriculum goes, students will have a full course load in each of their four years. The curricula places an emphasis on machine learning, neural networks, robotics, and cognitive science. You can check out the entire course load here.

If you’re interested in being the next Ian Goodfellow, Yann LeCun, or Elon Musk you could do worse than a degree from Carnegie Mellon.

Only about 30 to 35 students will be accepted into the program each year. If you’re interested you should definitely apply sooner rather than later, provided you meet the admission requirements.

Update May 15 4:50 CST: An earlier version of the story incorrectly reported Carnegie Mellon as a California-based university. We’ve corrected this to reflect that the school is located in Pittsburgh.

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