The student body, including 14 Emiratis, were given a detailed orientation about the university prior to the beginning of the academic year. They participated in a variety of academic activities. International students began arriving in Abu Dhabi in November to receive a cultural introduction to the UAE and to complete the COVID-19 health and safety precautionary measures as set out by Abu Dhabi health authorities.
The event on Tuesday welcomed 78 students who have joined the University from 29 countries. MBZUAI’s first students were selected from thousands of applications received by the university from nearly 100 countries. The first cohort includes 13 PhD students and 65 MSc students, who have enrolled in MBZUAI’s Machine Learning and Computer Vision programmes.
Dr Al Jaber said: “I am delighted to welcome the first cohort of MBZUAI students, who represent a milestone in delivering our promise to establish a centre for AI development and research at a critical time as the world looks to technology to help power the post-COVID-19 recovery. With global expertise and a truly international student body hailing from 29 countries, the university will empower the UAE to become a leader in the field of AI, in alignment with the wise vision of the country’s leadership.”
Focus on four pillars
Members of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees, comprising international experts, joined the event from around the world and commented on the progress of the university so far, while offering words of encouragement to the first cohort. The Board of Trustees comprises professor Sir Michael Brady, professor of Oncological Imaging at the University of Oxford; professor Anil K. Jain, a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University; Dr Kai-Fu Lee, a technology executive and venture capitalist based in Beijing; professor Daniela Rus, Director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL); and Peng Xiao, CEO of Group 42.
MBZUAI president, professor Dr Eric Xing, said: “AI is one of the most transformational technologies of the modern age, providing tremendous opportunities for humankind. The vision for MBZUAI is to nurture a new generation of leaders in science, engineering, policy and business with the necessary understanding to unlock the potential of AI through their academic research and industrial applications.”
Since the university was founded in October 2019, MBZUAI has achieved numerous milestones. These include several strategic partnerships for AI research and excellence with internationally-renowned organisations and educational establishments, hosting numerous delegations of political and academic leaders, and launching a series of expert-led webinars to build awareness and understanding of AI amongst the global community.
Original news source Credit: gulfnews.com