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McHenry County College to Offer New Artificial Intelligence Class to Prepare Students for Emerging Technology Careers

[Tuesday, May 29, 2018]
     

From voice-powered assistants like Siri and Alexa to subtle behavior algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is affecting how we live, work and entertain ourselves. AI applications are found in video gaming, robotics, journalism and media, banking, online commercial websites, medical research, and self-driving cars, to name just a few.

To meet the growing demand for AI engineers, McHenry County College is offering for the first time, an Artificial Intelligence class (ROB 220) beginning in August. The class takes place from 5:30-9:50 p.m. Aug. 23 through Oct. 11 in Room D154.

“We interact with intelligent systems and services in various forms, including apps on our phones, websites, intelligent devices, and much more,” said Jack Brzezinski, robotics instructor. “AI is the future of computing and soon will cause big changes in the economy,” Brzezinski added, referring to many jobs that will change because of automated systems.

“We are already seeing luxury model cars with hands-free options or self-parking options,” he said, adding that self-driving cars could be in our neighborhoods in 10 years or less.

According to the Department of Labor, manufacturing is increasingly moving toward automated processes to reduce the amount of labor needed. Automation engineers, of which Artificial Intelligence engineers are a part of, are expected to have good job prospects in the next decade. The average annual salary for automation/control engineers was $110,577, according to a survey by Automation.com in 2017.

“These advancements in AI help transform fiction into real systems as we interact with intelligent systems and services through our apps on our phones, websites and intelligent devices,” Brzezinski added.

While this class is new to MCC, AI has been part of Brzezinski’s career for many years. He has conducted extensive research and completed his doctorate dissertation on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Brzezinski has taught programming and robotics at MCC for 10 years.

MCC’s Artificial Intelligence course, which is part of the Robotics degree program, will provide a broad understanding of the basic techniques for building intelligent computer systems and an understanding of how AI is applied to problems including: computer vision, knowledge representation, machine learning, robotics, automation and natural language processing.

What sets MCC’s class apart from other Robotics classes is a comprehensive program that focuses on programming algorithms for controlling automation systems and robotic systems, according to Brzezinski.

Students will explore the fundamental concepts and algorithms behind artificial intelligence, and learn to apply them to various real-world problems. Students must have taken Programming Logic (PRG 105) or receive instructor consent before taking the AI class.

For more information about MCC’s Artificial Intelligence or programming classes, contact Jack Brzezinski at (815) 455-8578 or jbrzezinski@mchenry.edu.

 

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