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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Kogod announces incorporation of AI into curriculum

New courses will prepare students to “enter the global marketplace”

The Kogod School of Business announced March 26 that it will incorporate artificial intelligence into its academic curriculum. This plan includes training for faculty and staff, new certificate offerings for students, private sector engagement and partnership and operational overhauls, according to a press release. 

The rollout will include 20 new and updated courses in the fall 2024 semester to ensure that “incoming and existing Kogod students graduate with industry-leading expertise in AI and machine learning,” according to the announcement.

“To prepare our students to enter the global marketplace, we are being aggressive and bold with our curriculum,” wrote Kogod Dean David Marchick in the press release. “American University, like many others, is accelerating its AI-focused research agenda. But the driving force behind the changes we announce today is the impact we will have on the student experience—and on student outcomes after they leave us.”

According to Gwanhoo Lee, chair of Kogod’s Department of Information Technology & Analytics, Kogod’s AI initiative was shared with Acting Provost Vicky Wilkins and University President Sylvia Burwell, who are “excited to take [the initiative] to the university level.”

The new curriculum will consist of “AI Sage” courses, which include “deep immersion into the use of AI in a real-world context” and “AI Artisan” courses, which will discuss the abstract and theoretical aspects of AI.

“It’s very important to teach our students the foundational concepts and theory behind current technology and practices,” Lee said in an interview with The Eagle. “But we cannot stop there, because this is a business school. So we need to be very practical and prepare our students to be able to be the leaders in digital economy.”

Kogod hired two faculty members with AI and machine learning expertise, Angela Virtu and Shawn Janzen, in 2023 and. They plans to hire two additional experts to join the full-time faculty this fall.

Many Kogod faculty currently incorporate AI tools into their coursework, such as ChatGPT and Google Gemini, according to Lee. In April, the school plans to host the first in a series of industry panels featuring “executives across sectors—from marketing to finance to tech—where AI is driving business change.”

“The lifespan of knowledge is very short, and then you have to reinvent yourself and your skill all the time. So that’s the ongoing process,” Lee said. “But again, it’s important to strike the right balance between teaching the concept and theory and also providing students with tools and technology because both of them are very important.” 

This article was edited by Kathryn Squyres, Abigail Turner and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks.

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