Adams State offers summer high school robotics apprenticeship


Adams State University will offer the High School Apprenticeship Research Program in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics this summer, funded by a grant from the Army Research Office.

The grant of $3,716 will allow two high school students to participate with faculty and university students in the Undergraduate Research Internship Program in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Social Robotics, also recently funded by the U.S. Army. Both programs are directed by Dr. Matthew Iklé, Adams State professor of mathematics.

Open to high school juniors and seniors, the seven-week apprenticeship program will be held during June and July, 2016. Apprentices will earn $10 per hour for 20 hours per week, as well as one credit hour from Adams State University.

Faculty members (from left) George Sellman, Dr. Comfort Cover, and Dr. Matt Ikle demonstrate the capabilities of robots to be used in the High School Apprenticeship Research Internship Program in Artificial Intelligence and Social and Emotional Robotics.

"We are seeking students who have demonstrated interest and taken coursework in computer programming, software development, scientific reasoning, robotics, or some combination of these," said Iklé, who will mentor the apprentices. "We will expect our apprentices to contribute ideas and suggestions to the entire team for experimental procedures."

Mathematics/Computer Science faculty members, Dr. Comfort Cover and George Sellman, will also participate in the research and guide students.

The research project will have two tracks: artificial intelligence and robotics, with one apprentice assigned to each track. Researchers will use the OpenCogPrime (OCP) artificial intelligence system, as well as NAO and Robokind humanoid robots in Adams State's AI Robotics Lab. By working on this ambitious research project, apprentices will gain hands-on experience to strengthen their skills, learning abilities, and scientific reasoning. Iklé noted the apprenticeship program will also create a pipeline from high school to completion of a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) bachelor's degree.

Current high school juniors and seniors are invited to apply for the apprenticeships. The application deadline is January 30, 2016, and details are available online.

By Julie Waechter