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Artificial intelligence
With the University of Delaware’s new graduate certificate in artificial intelligence, students will be able to take advanced courses to gain the knowledge and experience they need to excel in AI-oriented careers across a variety of fields.

Next-generation AI education

Illustration by Joy Smoker

New graduate certificate in artificial intelligence provides students with essential skills, hands-on experience for a wide range of career paths

“In an era marked by remarkable technological advancements, artificial intelligence (AI) stands as a transformative force reshaping numerous industries. From healthcare and finance to transportation and education, the influence of AI has become pervasive, revolutionizing the way we work, live and interact with the world around us.”

The text above was generated by Chat GPT-3.5, a large language model chat bot developed by OpenAI, when prompted to draft an introduction for this article. It’s just one example of how AI is indeed “revolutionizing how we work, live and interact with the world” and highlights the importance of having a workforce that can understand, develop and apply AI tools. 

Now, as of this fall, students can gain these essential AI skills at the University of Delaware. Thanks to a new graduate certificate in artificial intelligence program, students will be able to take advanced AI courses in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences to obtain the knowledge and experience they need to excel in careers across a variety of fields. 

‘At the forefront of research and innovation’

Associate Professor Sunita Chandrasekaran and Professor Kathy McCoy, the AI graduate certificate’s program directors, state that this new certificate is designed to provide students with the fundamental knowledge needed to pursue careers in AI research, development and application development. 

“The skills and experiences acquired through this certificate program not only prepare students for job opportunities, but also set them on a path for long-term success in the rapidly evolving field of AI,” they added. 

Students who meet the admissions criteria can earn this certificate by completing nine credits of graduate-level courses in computer science, with course offerings including computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing and multi-agent systems. 

Upon successfully completion, this certificate program provides the tools to analyze and use appropriate AI techniques to address complex computational problems; understand data set preparation and implementation for complex problem-solving; design, implement and evaluate a variety of AI-based solutions; use effective professional communication; and make informed AI-related judgements using legal and ethical principles.

Chandrasekaran and McCoy added that UD’s computer science department in particular is “a great place for students to learn about AI.” Not only does the department have a successful track record of teaching and research in the field of AI (and whose undergraduate program moved up in the latest U.S News and World Report rankings), it is also the home of a “team of experts in AI domains who are at the forefront of research and innovation in the field,” they said.

“The department offers an exceptional learning environment, combining expert faculty, cutting-edge research, interdisciplinary collaboration and extensive resources to prepare students for successful careers in the field of AI,” Chandrasekaran and McCoy added.

Unlocking unique opportunities

Students who are enrolled in this certificate program will also have access to a number of AI-related resources offered by the University of Delaware AI Center of Excellence (AICoE), which supports AI research, collaborations and application development across campus. This includes unique seminars and speaker series about AI, the ability to participate in collaborative research projects, workshops and hackathons, and access to specialized research resources and computing infrastructure. Chandrasekaran and McCoy serve as co-directors of the center. 

This graduate certificate program is currently available to both prospective and current graduate students as well as currently enrolled undergraduates. Similar to how UD’s 4+1 programs work, undergraduates are also able to enroll in this certificate program and, upon completion of the required coursework, graduate with both a bachelor’s degree and graduate certificate. 

Chandrasekaran and McCoy added that there are future plans to teach introductory courses for students who are interested in AI but may not have the technical knowledge required to directly enroll in this program. 

“We are in the process of developing bridge courses that would provide the background necessary to take the courses in the AI certificate. We hope to be able to offer the course in the summer of 2024,” they said. 

For current and prospective students who are interested in learning about this new certificate program, along with learning more about the other graduate programs and research opportunities available at UD, the College of Engineering is hosting a graduate program and research information session on Tuesday, Oct. 17, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. 

This virtual event will highlight all of UD Engineering’s graduate level offerings, including graduate certificates and master’s and Ph.D. programs, and will provide information on how graduate training in engineering and computer science disciplines can unlock a wide range of career opportunities.   

To learn more about this AI certificate and other graduate programs in UD’s College of Engineering, register now for the graduate programs and research information session on Zoom.

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