Wayne State University introducing M.S. program in artificial intelligence this fall

illustration of human brain with binary code

The Wayne State University College of Engineering is preparing to launch a graduate-level academic program that will bolster the talent pipeline into a global industry projected to surpass $1.6 trillion by 2030. The WSU Board of Governors approved a new master’s in artificial intelligence that will be available beginning in the fall 2022 semester.

The program will provide students with a broad foundation in AI, combined with experience in in-depth application areas. This approach will offer students the skills and knowledge to succeed in spaces where rapid adoption of these burgeoning technologies is most evident, including manufacturing, health care, retail, aerospace, automotive and logistics.

“This program is designed based on the following goals in the WSU strategic plan: anticipate, understand and prepare for the future of higher education; strengthen the research enterprise; and promote an exceptional learning experience,” said Nabil Sarhan, program co-director and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Also leading the direction of this program are Dongxiao Zhu, associate professor of computer science, and Yanchao Liu, assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering.

Three departments in the College of Engineering will each deliver a unique concentration track: AI hardware and systems (electrical and computer engineering), AI algorithms and systems (computer science), and industrial AI (industrial and systems engineering). Students will be required to complete a minimum of 30 credits.

“The interdisciplinary nature of the program will provide students with a distinct learning experience involving a variety of engineering disciplines, enhancing their creativity and problem-solving across diverse domains,” said Sarhan.

As complex as it is nascent, AI necessitates particular skill sets that are currently limited in the workforce.

“We will tailor this program to focus on applications that are of high priority to industry leaders, with whom we anticipate our students will find greater internship and employment opportunities,” Sarhan said.

Wayne State University already has an established pipeline of AI-based research and educational resources. Zhu directs the Wayne AI Research Initiative and the Trustworthy AI Lab, collaborations that tackle challenges in such areas as cyber-physical systems, health engineering and informatics, smart and connected communities, and transportation and mobility. Liu developed IE 5995, a course centered on Internet of Things and edge AI programming. Sarhan, a respected researcher in the fields of deep learning and AI hardware accelerators, has a patented design of automated video surveillance systems.

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