MBZUAI Establishes New Graduate Programs in Robotics and Computer Science


MBZUAI has taken a significant step in addressing the increasing global demand for robotics and computer science disciplines by establishing two new departments and launching four associated graduate programs. The rise in demand for these fields is projected to reach USD $225 billion for robotics and $140 billion for computer science by 2030.

These new departments will complement MBZUAI’s existing computer vision (CV), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) departments, which are already ranked among the top 20 globally by CSRankings. The aim is to serve as academic homes for faculty, researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and students pursuing studies in robotics and computer science.

In line with the formation of the new departments, MBZUAI has introduced master’s and Ph.D. programs in both disciplines. These programs will contribute to the development of the UAE’s artificial intelligence ecosystem, reinforcing its position as an international hub for AI research and innovation.

MBZUAI President and University Professor, Eric Xing, emphasized the university’s commitment to fostering research excellence and innovation in AI, while also empowering students to become pioneers with highly sought-after skills in advanced AI tools and applications across various industries.

The Robotics Department will focus on cutting-edge research, emphasizing robot learning and algorithms rather than the development of new robot hardware. Topics of interest include deep learning, control theory, human-robot interaction, precision agriculture, and environment monitoring, among others. Robotics has transformative potential across industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation, making robotics expertise in high demand globally.

On the other hand, the Computer Science Department will delve into foundational technologies driving IT’s exponential growth, with a focus on entrepreneurship and sustainability. The global computer science job market is thriving, with projections showing a 14.5% CAGR from 2021 to 2027, and an estimated 3.5 million jobs by 2026. The program will cater to the high demand for advanced computer science skills, both in the UAE and worldwide.

The master’s and Ph.D. programs in robotics and computer science are designed to span two and four years, respectively, with compulsory internships integrated into the curriculum. These programs will offer students a blend of theoretical knowledge and industry engagement to maximize their impact in the field.

MBZUAI Acting Provost, Professor Timothy Baldwin, emphasized that the university’s distinctive and globally competitive programs in robotics and computer science will equip students with deep skills in AI and robotics, positioning them at the forefront of academia, industry, and government.

As of now, there are no comparable programs in the UAE, allowing MBZUAI to distinguish itself and position the country as a global AI leader. The interdisciplinary nature of AI will be highlighted as these departments integrate computer science and robotics with fields like CV, ML, and NLP. Applications for the 2024 admissions year will open on September 1, 2023, providing students with an opportunity to be part of these groundbreaking programs.

Prarthana Mary

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