Understanding naturally intelligent systems, building artificially intelligent systems, and improving the interactions between humans and artificial systems.
As humans, we may be intrigued by the complexity of any daily activity. How do we perceive, act, decide, and remember? On the one hand, if we understand how our own intelligence works, we can use this knowledge to make computers smarter. On the other hand, by making computers behave more like humans, we learn more about how our own cognition works.
The AI Master’s programme at Radboud University has a distinctly cognitive focus. This cognitive focus leads to a highly interdisciplinary programme where students gain skills and knowledge from a number of different areas such as mathematics, computer science, psychology and neuroscience combined with a core foundation of artificial intelligence.
Slowly the human brain has been revealing its mystery to the scientific community. Now that we are actually able to model and stimulate aspects of cognition, AI researchers have gained a deeper understanding of cognition. At the world-renowned Donders Institute, the Max Planck Institute and various other leading research centres, we train our students to become excellent researchers in this area.
At Radboud University we also teach students how to develop practical applications that will become the next generation of products, apps, therapies and services. Our department has been awarded several prizes for its pioneering role in bringing innovations from science to society, e.g. in Assistive Technology for people with disabilities. You’ll be taught the skills needed to conduct and steer such innovation processes. Many Master’s research projects have both a scientific and a practical component.
Computational modelling is the central methodology taught and used in this programme. Depending on the area of study, the computational models can range from behavioural models of millions of individuals interacting on the web, to functional models of human or robot decision-making, to models of individual or networks of artificial neurons. At Radboud University we offer the following three specialisations (on campus simply known as Computation, Robot and Web):
- Computation in Neural and Artificial Systems Learn how to create artificial information systems that mimic biological systems as well as how to use theoretical insights from AI to better understand cognitive processing in humans.
- Robot Cognition Understand all aspects of Human-Robot interaction: the programming that coordinates a robot’s actions with human action as well the human appreciation and trust in the robot.
- Web and Language Interaction Learn how to build the intelligence used to power the future of the Web.
Research project and Internship
To finalise your AI master's programme, you have the choice of either an Internship (18EC) and Research Project (30EC) or a single larger Extended Research Project (48EC). During the internship you have the chance to acquire additional AI relevant skills either at a research lab or at a company. During the Research Projects phase, you get to put what you have learned during your master's programme into practice. You can perform your research work in the AI department, at other research departments at the University (e.g. the Behaviour Science Institute or Donders Institute) or at an external company (such as Philips or TNO). You are also encouraged to go abroad for your internship and/or research project (previously students have gone to Stanford University in California and Aldebaran Robotics in Paris). To help you decide on a thesis topic, there is an annual Thesis Fair where academics and companies present possible project ideas.
Our Artificial Intelligence graduates have excellent job prospects and are often offered a job before they have actually graduated. Many of our graduates go on to do a PhD either at a major research institute or a university with an AI department. Other graduates have started their own companies or work for companies interested in cognitive design and research.
- Information for international students Radboud University would like to meet you in your country (http://www.ru.nl/meetus) in order to give all the information you need and to answer any questions you might have about studying in the Netherlands. In the next few months, an advisor of Radboud University will be attending fairs in various countries, always accompanied by a current or former student. Furthermore, we understand if you would like to see the Radboud Campus and the city of Nijmegen, which is why we organise an Master's Open Day for international students (http://www.ru.nl/openday) which will take place on 5 March 2016.
- Information for Dutch students Radboud University offers students in the Netherlands plenty of opportunities to get more information on your programme of choice, or get answers to any questions you might have and more. Apart from a Master's Evening and a Master's Day, we also organise Orientation Days and a Master’s Afternoon for HBO students.