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Purdue University launches physical AI new postdoctoral research program

A photo of Aniket Bera, an associate professor of computer science in the College of Science.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s Institute for Physical Artificial Intelligence aims to become one of the country’s leading researchers on the matter of physical artificial intelligence.

Purdue announced last week that it launched a new postdoctoral research program aimed at developing and supporting students whose research focuses on innovative projects dealing with AI with the ability to make a tangible impact on real-world problems in our physical environment.

This program is available to current graduate students on the Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. The students must be in the final year of their doctoral program or faculty members at the West Lafayette campus who intend to hire a post-doctoral researcher.

A photo of Aniket Bera, an associate professor of computer science in the College of Science.
A photo of Aniket Bera, an associate professor of computer science in the College of Science.

In both cases, applicants must have two faculty co-advisors to provide support and mentorship for the project. At least one of the advisors must have a background in AI or machine learning, and the other advisor must have a background in an applied discipline such as manufacturing, transportation, microelectronics, agriculture, science or health.

All applications must be submitted by April 5.

“This program will provide emerging leaders with a unique opportunity to work with experts across disciplines to develop solutions to some of our most pressing problems,” Karen Plaut, executive vice president for research at Purdue University, said in a news release.

“The application of AI to our physical world presents significant opportunities. Seizing those opportunities and surmounting the challenges that can accompany them requires leveraging the knowledge of experts in AI and machine learning as well as those with subject-matter expertise.”

Postdoctoral researchers who are selected for the program will receive annual salary support of $70,000 for 24 months with the option to renew for 12 months. Researchers will also receive $2,500 for professional development and $50,000 to support their research project, according to Purdue’s news release.

“The proposed research projects must be interdisciplinary and include AI/machine learning and an applied discipline such as, manufacturing, transportation, microelectronics, agriculture, science, health, robotics, etc.,” reads the program’s descriptions.

This research program was funded through the recent $50 million grant that Purdue University received from Lilly Endowment Inc., which donated $100 million in grants to the Purdue Research Foundation to support two major Purdue University initiatives, the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business and Purdue Computes.

Purdue Computes is the university’s initiative to focus on and develop its computing departments, physical artificial intelligence, semiconductors and quantum departments.

The $50 million grant will be used to support the campus’ Birck Nanotechnology Center, which houses the state-of-the-art Scifres Nanofabrication Laboratory, launch the Institute for Physical Artificial Intelligence. The grant also will invest $10 million to increase brain gain in Indiana by investing in programs for pre-college, college and working professional students aimed at enhancing workforce development efforts in the areas of semiconductors and physical AI.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: Purdue launches new physical Artificial Intelligence research program

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