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IIT Mumbai makes it important to impart knowledge of AI and Data Science to all Undergraduate......

IIT Mumbai makes it important to impart knowledge of AI and Data Science to all Undergraduate Students

In a groundbreaking move that underscores its commitment to technological innovation, the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) has introduced Artificial Intelligence and Data Science (AI-DS) as a mandatory course for all undergraduate students, including those pursuing BTech and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees. Starting this academic year, AI-DS will join the ranks of subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Biology as a core component of the curriculum, ensuring that every student gets a taste of these transformative technologies.

How relevant is the decision?

The decision to incorporate AI-DS into the curriculum was a key recommendation from a committee appointed to review and update the BTech curriculum. Professor Deepankar Choudhury, head of the civil engineering department and chair of the committee, expressed the significance of this move by noting that AI-DS is now as fundamental as traditional science subjects. Regardless of their specialization, all students will acquire knowledge and skills in AI-DS.

This groundbreaking decision reflects the recognition that AI and data science are not limited to a particular field; they are ubiquitous across industries and disciplines. Professor Avinash Mahajan, Dean of Academics at IIT-B, explained that the AI-DS course will also apply to BS programs in Economics, Chemistry, and Mathematics, where data analysis plays a critical role.

The learning of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science will be introduced as a common course with mandatory credit during the first semester of the second year. Additionally, interested students will have the opportunity to pursue advanced courses in the field as they progress in their academic journey.

The present status of study on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science Programs

Already, IIT Mumbai has established a Center for Machine Learning and Data Science, which offers specialized post-graduate and Ph.D. or research programs in AI and DS. This expansion of AI-DS into the undergraduate curriculum reflects the growing demand for expertise in these fields across diverse disciplines. The goal is to provide students with a solid foundation early in their undergraduate studies, allowing them to explore more specialized applications and technologies as they advance in their academic careers.

It has become an integral part of various engineering branches, including mechanical, civil, and aerospace. Therefore, students across these disciplines cannot afford to ignore the importance of learning AI. As AI continues to shape the present and future of industries worldwide, equipping students with AI skills is essential to their readiness for the job market.

This decision has been sought to align with a global trend in education, where AI and DS are becoming increasingly popular as specialized courses at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Recognizing the foundational role of these technologies, institutions are ensuring that students have the necessary skills to thrive in an AI-driven world.

This move is part of a broader curriculum overhaul at IIT-B. In the previous year, the institute introduced a range of non-engineering subjects to accommodate students' changing interests and career aspirations. Courses in humanities, arts, social sciences, management, entrepreneurship, and design have gained prominence, offering students a well-rounded education that extends beyond their core engineering disciplines.

The decision of IIT Bombay's to make the learning of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science a mandatory component of the undergraduate curriculum is nothing short of revolutionary. It positions India at the forefront of technological education and ensures that its graduates are not just observers but active participants in the AI and data science revolution. As AI continues to influence and transform industries across the globe, IIT-B's students will be well-prepared to shape the future and lead the way in technological innovation.


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