NSF funds new CCNY program offering students AI/CAV research experience overseas

Preparing for a future in which artificial intelligence (AI),  networked systems, autonomous vehicles (AVs) and connected AVs (CAVs) are integral to society, The City College of New York is launching an international program to train select students in mastering Avs. The three-year project -- in partnership with Turkey’s Istanbul Technical University (ITU) and California-based autonomous bus company ADASTEC Corp – is funded by a $300,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

“Future societies will depend more and more on AI and networked systems, and, in turn, on AVs and CAVs for many services and operations,” said Akira Kawaguchi, chair of computer science in The City College’s Grove School of Engineering. “AVs and CAVs have strong potential to increase performance, safety, and efficiency, and as a result, to contribute to societal well-being and enhance economic growth. Reinforcement learning (RL), an emerging branch of machine learning (ML) and control, has a lot to promise for autonomy with its capacity to address unpredictable changes in the system and environment.” 

According to Kawaguchi, up to 16 top undergraduate and graduate students (PhD-level for the latter) from CCNY and the Graduate Center, CUNY, will be selected to tackle the open challenges of fully autonomous vehicles through cohort experiences at Istanbul Technical University, under the mentorship of subject-matter experts from ITU and ADASTEC Corp. 

“Each year, a different student cohort will be selected for this unique research and professional development opportunity, thereby contributing to the U.S. leadership in the future of vehicle technologies with a well-prepared workforce,” he added. “At the end of each research cycle, the modularly developed algorithms will be integrated on an actual vehicle and tested individually and in integration, first on the ITU vehicle-in-the-loop (VIL) system, then on indoor RaceCars and finally, at the ITU Living Lab environment for shuttle service scenarios.” 

In addition to Kawaguchi, the CCNY/CUNY team launching the program this fall includes Seta Bogosyan, former NSF Program Director and CCNY adjunct professor. 

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. Education research organization Degree Choices ranks CCNY #1 nationally among universities for economic return on investment. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi (now Lightcast) puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. This year, CCNY launched its most expansive fundraising campaign, ever. The campaign, titled “Doing Remarkable Things Together” seeks to bring the College’s Foundation to more than $1 billion in total assets in support of the College mission. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

Jay Mwamba
p: 917.892.0374
e: jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu