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AI Innovations and Innovators



Computer Science


Dr. Christine Elliott and Professor Brett Huffman

Program Summary

What challenges did technology pioneers such as Alan Turing, Ada Lovelace, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and many others face in building the technology, including AI, which we enjoy today? What are the characteristics that make them great innovators? What are the trade-offs in having this technology deeply embedded in our society? How will AI innovation impact your future?

In this First Year Experience (FYE), we’ll explore these fascinating questions while you also learn the basics of computer programming. Get ready to dive into the Python programming language and eventually build, train, and run your own AI models. This isn’t just about learning to code; it’s about understanding the power and implications of technology and how you can harness it to make a difference.

CSCI 171: Intro to Programming (4 SH, GESN)

Focus on fundamental concepts of problem-solving by analyzing problems and using the Python programming language as a tool to design, code, document, and test solutions. Artificial Intelligence fundamentals will be covered, including how to build, train, and utilize basic AI models. This class will include lectures, examples, and considerable practice in programming. Professional approaches are emphasized.

GEN 101: Integrated Learning Course (3 SH) 

This course builds and strengthens foundational skills for success in college: reading, critical thinking, reflective and source-based writing, information literacy, and research.  You will also learn and practice strategies for time management, organization, and collaboration. Students complete an annotated bibliography, a written research project, a presentation and other writing and discussion assignments.