Big Tech, Community Colleges Partnering in Education

Neethi Anand Gangidi got here from India to the United States to review chemical engineering. But when the Covid-19 pandemic created difficulties for her doctoral research, she modified course by finding out synthetic intelligence, or AI, at Houston Community College (HCC) in Texas.
At HCC, Gangidi and a workforce of scholars labored on a tough drawback: discovering methods to assist preserve folks secure in harmful conditions, corresponding to college shootings. Their answer used AI to develop an autonomous car to enter areas which can be too harmful for folks. Gangidi’s workforce gained a nationwide innovation award for his or her challenge at Intel’s Global Impact Festival in San Jose, California, this yr.
Gangidi is certainly one of hundreds of scholars concerned in partnerships between massive expertise corporations and group faculties in the U.S. Companies corresponding to Dell Technologies, Intel, Google, and Amazon have developed particular coaching applications for college students. Some areas of research embody synthetic intelligence, knowledge science, and person expertise design.
Community faculties supply two-year affiliate levels in many technical and liberal arts topics.
The American Association of Community Colleges, or AACC, says there are 1,043 group faculties in the U.S. In the final 10 years, a median of greater than 80,000 worldwide college students have attended group faculties yearly in the U.S.
The improve in AI
The use of AI, additionally known as machine studying, is rising. AI helps pc methods do issues which in the previous solely human beings may do, corresponding to determine faces.
AI is usually used in work which makes use of a lot of knowledge, corresponding to banking, supplying supplies and merchandise, and healthcare. But now different areas, corresponding to pure language processing, additionally use the expertise. AI is even used in inventive work corresponding to music composition.
A 2021 research discovered that 43 % of companies reported elevated use of AI in the final yr. However, 39 % of leaders at these corporations mentioned lack of employees with AI coaching was a barrier to utilizing the expertise.
Intel’s AI for Workforce Program
In early 2020, Intel started its AI for Workforce program, which has now partnered with 74 group faculties in 32 states. Intel supplies content material for AI courses, AI lab design and expertise, coaching for lecturers, and sensible functions for areas corresponding to pc imaginative and prescient.
The firm hopes to have partnerships in all 50 states by the top of 2023.
Dell Technologies has partnered with Intel to assist pay for the Artificial Intelligence Incubator Network. The Network has given $40,000 grants to 10 group faculties to assist construct AI laboratories. The Network additionally helps digital AI coaching and organizes month-to-month conferences between Dell, Intel, and group faculties to assist enhance AI schooling.
Adrienne Garber is a Senior Strategist for Higher Education at Dell Technologies. She instructed VOA Learning English that the AI for Workforce program offers college students sensible coaching.
“The AI for Workforce curriculum is anchored in portfolio tasks, real-world genuine studying experiences, actual knowledge units, and issues which can be contributed by a group of follow.”

Previous AI for Global Impact winners are greeted by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger on the Intel Vision occasion in May 2022 (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Carlos Contreras is the director of Intel’s AI for Workforce program. He famous that this system contains coaching in ethics, making it completely different from other forms of expertise coaching. The AI coaching asks college students to consider when it’s proper or improper to make use of machine studying and the way folks ought to use it.
He additionally famous that college students can start AI coaching with out realizing how you can write pc code. He mentioned, “This is a development that we’re seeing increasingly round this expertise. So, the entry level to get into AI is decrease than if you wish to get into, let’s say, cyber-security.”
While college students don’t have to discover ways to create AI software program, the coaching helps them use it in helpful methods. For instance, in Arizona, a workforce of three college students at Maricopa Community College developed an AI mannequin to assist determine seizures in sufferers with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a illness that impacts the central nervous system.
Contreras defined that college students have to know how you can outline the issue they’re engaged on, determine and classify the information units they should put into the AI pc fashions, after which run the fashions.
“And then all of the sudden, I’ve a skilled mannequin, or my course of, for the issue I’m making an attempt to resolve.”
Garber, of Dell Technologies, famous that every group school can select the way it desires to make use of the AI for Workforce program. Instead of getting one curriculum for all faculties, this system may be modified to serve the wants of every group.
“They’re determining the place in their educational pathways does this content material match. So, it is likely to be a certificates program, it is likely to be an affiliate’s diploma — in some instances it’s a full bachelor’s diploma…And it’s a very responsive studying content material bundle.”
Gangidi’s path of research

Neethi Anand Gangidi (Courtesy photograph, Neethi Anand Gangidi)

Neethi Anand Gangidi defined to VOA Learning English a number of the particulars of AI coaching at Houston Community College. Students first study to research and manage info. Python is the software program generally used and is a place to begin for courses in fundamental knowledge science.
“And it is rather simple for any particular person from any nation to study this. You have a lot of movies on that…Just set up it; obtain it. That’s all you want. You want entry. Start exploring.”
Gangidi mentioned information of statistics is useful for working with knowledge, however that college students normally don’t want excessive degree arithmetic corresponding to calculus.
For the category, Introduction to Machine Learning, Gangidi discovered how you can construct fashions to take care of a bigger quantity of knowledge. She mentioned instruments from Amazon Web Services, Nvidia, and software program corresponding to Jupyter Notebook assist college students work with knowledge sooner and at a better degree.
HCC gave her an actual knowledge challenge to work on to assist her use the AI coaching. Gangidi mentioned that engaged on an actual challenge helps college students acquire expertise, which employers worth.

From left: college students Igor Lucic, Denzel Wilson, Clark Horak, Dina Marie Stager, Neethianand Gangidi, and Ayomide Sofunwa, and Samir Saber, dean of Houston Community College Digital and Information Technology /heart of Excellence. (photograph courtesy of Houston Community College Southwest Communications)

Advice for college students
Gangidi says college students ought to put their effort into their ardour, or robust pursuits, moderately than worrying concerning the title of the college they select to attend in the U.S.
“It doesn’t matter when you’re from Stanford, or Harvard, or group school. It all relies upon upon every particular person.”
She was in HCC as a result of it gave her the chance to work in groups on actual issues, use innovation, and acquire management expertise.
She added that group faculties value much less to attend than four-year universities. In Texas, worldwide college students can even qualify for in-state tuition, the quantity that somebody residing in the state pays to attend. This, together with scholarships, lowered her tuition prices from about $12,000 per semester to about $2,000 per semester.
In addition to Neethi Anand’s workforce, one other workforce of scholars at HCC gained a worldwide award at this yr’s Global Impact Festival. The workforce used AI to develop an autonomous drone to enter harmful locations.
Gangidi thinks there are a lot of job alternatives for individuals who study to work with knowledge. She mentioned, “If you understand how to deal with knowledge, and if in case you have a ardour…something in AI, how you can deal with, analyze these knowledge, and make a great story of the information—that’s simple, you may wind up in an AI job in any large firm over there.”
I’m Andrew Smith. And I’m Caty Weaver.

Andrew Smith wrote this story for VOA Learning English.

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Words in This Story
doctoral –adj. associated to the best diploma given for finishing a course of research at a college
autonomous –adj. capable of act individually beneath its personal energy
innovation –n. a brand new concept or machine; the method of creating new issues
seizure –n. an irregular state in which an individual loses consciousness and the physique strikes uncontrollably
development –n. the final motion of change
classify –v. to put one thing in a selected group in an effort to prepare issues
curriculum –n. the plan of research and a faculty, school or college
content material –n. concepts and data in media
entry –n. the flexibility to get or get into one thing
statistics –n. a mathematical area which offers with the gathering, group and understanding of numerical info
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