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Education & Outreach

AIFARMS REU SUmmer PRogram 2021

The Artificial Intelligence for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management, and Sustainability (AIFARMS) Institute serves as a nexus for multidisciplinary research teams that advance foundational AI and uses these advances to address important challenges facing world agriculture. The institute puts strong emphasis on technologies that impact production practices, on developing a diverse technically skilled workforce in digital agriculture, and on supporting women and minority farmers.

Collaborating institutions include the University of Chicago, Michigan State University, Tuskegee University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Argonne National Laboratory, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and USDA-ARS.

WHEN: The team is excited to provide up to 12 internship opportunities for undergraduate students for Summer 2021 (June 1-July30, 2021 with project dependent options to extend), offering in person and virtual options.

BENEFITS: Opportunity for 9 week (minimum) internship experience with weekly pay of $600-$800/week.

WHO SHOULD APPLY: Undergraduate students (rising juniors and seniors as well as outstanding sophomores) majoring in computer science, computer engineering, agricultural sciences, life sciences, electrical engineering or related areas with an interest in robotics, sensors and drones are strongly encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to students from the collaborating institutions; 3.0+/4.0 cGPA preferred).

How to apply:

Application deadline is April 12, 2021.

Digital Agriculture Degree Programs

We will support the operation and expansion of new multidisciplinary education programs around digital agriculture and AI for agriculture. Illinois has already pioneered two unique undergraduate degrees: Computer Science + Crop Science and Computer Science + Animal Science. The Center for Digital Agriculture hopes to offer master’s level credentials in the future, such as specialized certificates and a master’s degree which AIFARMS will accelerate and enhance, and leverage a new two-semester “OnRamp” program of introductory CS courses to prepare agriculture students for these computing-intensive degree programs.

Computer Science OnRamp Certificate Program

To help address the talent gap in tech and to broaden participation in computing, the Illinois Computing Accelerator for Non-Specialists (iCAN) provides college graduates who do not have a degree in computing with a pathway to prepare for CS graduate studies. This 20 credit-hour, three semester certificate program provides hands-on coursework in computing fundamentals (programming, data structures, algorithms), as well as a project-based capstone and exposure to an advanced course chosen by the student. This program is designed to achieve the core learning outcomes in ACM/IEEE CS. Students completing the program will be prepared for a performance-based path to our graduate programs.

Educator Training

AIFARMS will specifically advance STEM educator development by training certified K-12 teachers in Peoria County in computing, including AI and AI innovations in agriculture. Collectively these activities will develop and support a pipeline of diverse students trained in agriculture and computing to advance development and implementation of AI-driven agricultural technologies and inform policy development for their adoption.