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Education & Outreach

REU SUmmer PRogram 2022

The Center for Digital Agriculture, AIFARMS, and CROPPS are co-hosting a 8-week on-site summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This program will bring together students, particularly those from underrepresented communities to work on cutting-edge projects. Students will work on specific research projects under the guidance of a paired research mentor. This is a paid opportunity for students to get a hands-on novel research experience in technologies to address global agriculture challenges. 

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.