UIC launches online master’s program in artificial intelligence, machine learning  

A new Master of Engineering online degree program will increase access to graduate degrees for working engineers, scientists and managers with strong quantitative backgrounds as well as meet the growing demand for artificial intelligence and machine learning professionals.

The UIC College of Engineering and UIC Extended Campus have partnered to offer the degree program, which begins this fall. Prospective students can learn more about the program during an informational webinar from noon-1 p.m. May 3.

“UIC’s Master of Engineering in AI and machine learning provides practicing technologists, engineers and mathematically adept managers with a well-designed blend of modern machine intelligence principles, techniques and strategies,” said Peter Nelson, dean of the College of Engineering.

The UIC College of Engineering was a pioneer in online graduate education, having first offered the Master of Engineering online degree in 1999, said Carmen Lilley, associate dean of graduate studies in the College of Engineering.

“We are very excited about the updated curriculum focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning in the Master of Engineering online degree program,” said Lilley, associate professor in mechanical and industrial engineering.

“Our newly developed curriculum is an excellent launching pad for those seeking to gain high demand skills in artificial intelligence and machine learning by taking courses taught by UIC faculty working and researching in these disciplines.”

The 100% online degree program meets the demand for experts in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning, said Xinhua Zhang, associate professor of computer science.

“AI and Machine Learning represent the largest job opportunities among all industrial disciplines, with flexible and ubiquitous integration in both private and public sectors,” Zhang said.

“AI and ML technology have been gaining popularity in recent years, penetrating our day-to-day lives and manufacturing through search engines, recommender systems, human-computer interaction, self-driving cars and industrial robots. At its core, AI develops intelligent software and systems based on how human minds think, learn, decide and solve a problem, so that machines can be enabled to perform human-like functions by learning through experience.”

The degree program also leverages UIC’s highly ranked artificial intelligence faculty members, who are ranked in the top 20 in the United States, Nelson said.

The program includes nine courses and can be completed in as few as 12 months, said Dara Crowfoot, assistant vice chancellor for innovation. Applications for the degree program will be accepted through Aug. 15, and the program will begin Aug. 22. 

The online Master of Engineering was among UIC’s first fully online degree offerings, Crowfoot said. UIC now offers more than 15 fully online degree programs.

“Extended Campus is focused on developing online degrees in order to expand access for students,” Crowfoot said. “Online degrees provide convenience for working professionals who can’t get to campus but want a degree from such a strong university. It’s about reaching a different type of student who’s not able to come to campus; they live or work too far from campus or cannot attend classes when they are offered.”

UIC faculty member Ahmet Cetin said artificial intelligence and machine learning engineers are critical to understanding data.

“Today’s businesses and other organizations collect vast quantities of data from their daily operations,” said Cetin, research professor in electrical and computer engineering. “They need artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to manage the data and mine it for useful information.” 

Learn more about the online Master of Engineering.

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