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FIU offers new degree to give graduates a competitive edge in AI

FIU offers new degree to give graduates a competitive edge in AI

June 20, 2024 at 10:39am

Florida International University is launching a bachelor’s degree in data science and artificial intelligence to strategically position students for success in the evolving technology landscape.

The new degree, launching Fall 2024, will give students a foundational knowledge in two complementary, booming industries: Data science, the statistics-heavy field where insights are gained through the analysis of numbers; and AI, the technology that uses these insights to make intelligent decisions.  

Artificial intelligence is heavily reliant on data science to make smart choices, says Jason Liu, an endowed professor of computer science and director of the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences.

“AI needs data science like humans need water,” Liu says. “After speaking with our partners in the industry and leaders in the community, we are confident that this degree will set up students for long-term success in the industries being revolutionized by artificial intelligence.”

AI and data science skills are sought in industries from construction to business to health. Data scientists had a median wage of $108,020 in 2023, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment for data scientists is projected to grow 35% through 2032. 

The new degree consists of several courses in computer science, statistics and mathematics. Students can cultivate unique skillsets by choosing one of three concentrations, which include: 

  • Computational and Big Data Analytics
  • Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
  • Statistical Modeling 

Student learning activities will be supported by a new Data Science Learning Center with NVIDIA A100-based servers. These servers operate on the same technology used by many large language models and chatbots in current headlines.

FIU’s new bachelor’s degree marks the latest move from the university to lead the way in the research and education of AI. Approximately 20 faculty members are currently conducting grant-funded, AI-focused research at KFSCIS.

“At FIU, we are on a mission to cultivate first-class leaders in the cutting-edge technologies that are reshaping our world,” says Inés R. Triay, Interim Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing. “Our commitment to this mission is stronger than ever, evidenced by strategic initiatives such as the imminent opening of our new six-story, 125,000-square-foot Innovation Complex and the launch of degree programs like our bachelor’s in data science and AI.”