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Deloitte partnership with Virginia Tech creates new AI research program

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As artificial intelligence and machine learning becomes increasingly more critical to our nation’s national security missions and commercial companies, graduates with artificial intelligence and related research experience are highly recruitable by industry.

A new partnership between Deloitte’s Artificial Intelligence Institute and the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology has enabled the launch of the Deloitte Graduate Student Research Program on Artificial Intelligence, which aims to prepare graduate students for artificial intelligence careers by equipping them with hands-on research experience and enhanced professional and technical skills through direct access to Deloitte professionals.

“By working with Virginia Tech, we are helping to accelerate the design and development of emergent artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches in important areas like cybersecurity, fraud, waste, abuse prevention, and risk management,” said Edward Bowen, managing director of Deloitte’s AI Center of Excellence. “Deloitte has world-class platform capabilities, artificial intelligence/machine learning talent, and data assets that can help prepare graduate students for careers in these fields while developing novel solutions that support the missions of our clients.”

The Deloitte Graduate Student Research Program on Artificial Intelligence is currently seeking students pursuing degrees in artificial intelligence and related fields to be hired as graduate research assistants. Four students will be selected to conduct fundamental research in four research topic areas: AI Assurance and Cybersecurity, AI and 5G, AI for Test and Evaluation, and AI Fraud Detection. To qualify for the program, students must be enrolled and attending Virginia Tech during the 2021-22 academic year.

Interested graduate students should visit the website to learn more to apply to the Deloitte Graduate Student Research Program on Artificial Intelligence. The deadline for application is June 30, 2021.

Each of the graduate research assistants will be advised by faculty from the Hume Center and Deloitte who will guide the students in conducting their research. The Hume Center faculty advisers hold appointments in statistics, electrical and computer engineering, and industrial systems engineering, as well as faculty status with the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, allowing for wide engagement across academic disciplines and networks.

“From health care, to environmental control, to manufacturing, to national defense and beyond, AI is at the heart of next-generation systems that center our domestic prosperity and daily lives. Graduate students with AI research experience will be highly recruitable because it shows they’re eager to take on the technical challenges of this emerging field,” said Peter Beling, professor in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Hume Center. “As a faculty adviser, my students will develop new AI systems to prevent medical and financial fraud, problems of national importance.”

A core pillar of the Hume Center’s mission is to provide students with hands-on research and experiential learning activities that prepare them for careers in national security.

“Nothing is as valuable as hands-on experience. This research program is a unique opportunity for students to work on today’s complex problems in AI side-by-side with our Deloitte partners who are there to mentor the students along the way,” said Laura Freeman, a faculty adviser for the program and the Hume Center’s Intelligent Systems Lab director.

Continued support from Deloitte allows Virginia Tech to make strides in becoming a leader in artificial intelligence research. The partnership has also resulted in 5G security research funding entitled, “Top-down 5G Networks Security Design and Implementation in Zero-Trust Network Architecture,” that includes collaboration with faculty researchers from the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, the Hume Center, the College of Engineering, and Old Dominion University.

For questions regarding the program, contact Danielle Kauffman at dkauffman@vt.edu.

Story by Aubrey Medina


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