2021: A year of remarkable accomplishments
Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) aims to become a household name next year as it continues to rise in rank, size and accolades. MBZUAI President Eric Xing closed the academic year with a celebratory lunch for faculty and staff on the university’s Masdar City campus on December 13. Xing highlighted a year of accomplishments for MBZUAI including research publishing, academic awards, student accomplishments and more.
The university is tracking well towards its three part mission:
- Be a hub for startups and tech innovation in MENA
- Bring together the best computer science scientists and engineers
- Be a paradise for fundamental research
“Thank you for your dedication and enthusiasm," Xing said. "I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished and I’m excited to see how far we can go in 2022. Despite being a young organization, we are well on our way to creating an AI community in the UAE where the greatest AI minds from across the world come together to learn and achieve. We will continue to do this through further partnerships with government, industry and peer educational institutions."
The university faculty has more than doubled in size in the past 12 months, adding faculty chairs in Natural Language Processing, and Computer Vision. The university has seen 14 faculty hires in 2021 from institutions such as Oxford, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, and more.
In terms of professional development, the university launched a highly successful Executive Program, with an initial cohort of 41 minister and CEO level participants. The program is unique globally given the star cast of eminent instructors such as UC Berkeley Professor Michael Jordan, Turing Award winner Raj Reddy, Harvard Professor David Parkes, MIT faculty Daniela Rus, and many more. Throughout 2021, the university hosted a range of delegations from around the world including the President of Costa Rica, President of École Polytechnique (L’X) and Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP) from France, a delegation from the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, senior officials from the Consulate of the Republic of Singapore, and a delegation from the Commonwealth of Poland, to name a few. MBZUAI has become both a critical partner for organizations looking to integrate AI technology, as well as an international project of interest for nations hoping to launch similar institutions in artificial intelligence (AI) and the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).
There has been a sharp increase in interest and engagement from graduating students from top universities across the globe, which has increased the caliber of applications being received. MBZUAI's first and second student cohort consists of 134 students from 40 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America and South America. The first graduation will be held in 2023.