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Education & Outreach

Digital Agriculture Degree Programs

We will support the operation and expansion of new multidisciplinary education programs around digital agriculture and AI for agriculture. Illinois has already pioneered two unique undergraduate degrees: Computer Science + Crop Science and Computer Science + Animal Science. AIFARMS will accelerate and enhance an online MS in Digital Agriculture being created by the Center for Digital Agriculture, the College of ACES, and the Grainger College of Engineering support the creation of a MS+PhD program in Computer Science + Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and leverage a new two-semester “OnRamp” program of introductory CS courses to prepare agriculture students for these computing-intensive degree programs.

Computer Science OnRamp Certificate Program

To help address the talent gap in tech and to broaden participation in computing, the Illinois Computing Accelerator for Non-Specialists (iCAN) provides college graduates who do not have a degree in computing with a pathway to prepare for CS graduate studies. This 20 credit-hour, three semester certificate program provides hands-on coursework in computing fundamentals (programming, data structures, algorithms), as well as a project-based capstone and exposure to an advanced course chosen by the student. This program is designed to achieve the core learning outcomes in ACM/IEEE CS. Students completing the program will be prepared for a performance-based path to our graduate programs.

Educator Training

AIFARMS will specifically advance STEM educator development by training certified K-12 teachers in Peoria County in computing, including AI and AI innovations in agriculture. Collectively these activities will develop and support a pipeline of diverse students trained in agriculture and computing to advance development and implementation of AI-driven agricultural technologies and inform policy development for their adoption.

United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture The Artificial Intelligence for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management, and Sustainability (AIFARMS) Institute is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Science Foundation.