UPD to teach AI at the graduate level

On July 30, UP Diliman (UPD) began accepting applications to its new doctoral program in artificial intelligence (AI) at the UPD College of Engineering for AY 2022-2023. 

According to its announcement post on the AI Facebook page, the program is aimed at training AI industry practitioners who want to specialize and deploy state-of-the-art AI systems, researchers who want to extend the AI body of knowledge and invent the next big AI algorithm, and academics who want to offer similar programs in their own higher educational institution. 

The FISHDROP (Fish-i) uses AI to rapidly estimate the number of fish in a particular ocean reef. Image from Jalao

It aims to produce PhD graduates who are “equipped with a scientific mindset, adequate technical skills, and a professional perspective in expanding the field of AI via state-of-the-art dissertation research.”

Rowel Atienza, PhD, described AI as “an emerging field that has applications in almost every field. AI accelerates the discovery of new drugs to fight diseases, performs precise weather predictions, and enhances food productions in smart farming. These are some of the exciting applications where mimicking human cognition through computers can have significant positive economic and societal impact.”

Atienza is a professor at the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute. His research interests are robotics, computer vision, and AI.

Meanwhile, UPD’s AI program coordinator is Eugene Rex Jalao, PhD, a professor of industrial engineering and operations research.

The program is designed to “train students to use AI to solve important problems by inventing new techniques that can be translated into a deployable reliable system.”

Its core subject areas are machine learning, deep learning, machine learning operations, learning theory, sequential data, reinforcement learning, and autonomous robots. 

Students can pursue specific tracks through electives such as natural language processing, AI accelerators, differential digital signal processing, probabilistic graphical models, and quantum AI computing. 

Aside from the usual options where students who already have a master’s degree from a related discipline can enter, it also has a Master of Engineering-PhD (Straight) option where a student with a bachelor’s degree from a related discipline can enter the program and earn both a master’s and a PhD in one go. In March 2022, the program also began accepting applications to its Master of Engineering in AI program.