AI@AU kicks off six weeks of spring artificial intelligence forums on Friday, Feb. 9

Published: Feb 1, 2024 1:10 PM

By Joe McAdory

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts from universities across the South will offer insight and answer questions when Auburn University’s Spring 2024 AI@AU forum kicks off a six-week series beginning Friday, Feb. 9.

“The world of AI is rapidly changing, and the methods being used for AI is dramatically increasing,” said Gerry Dozier, the Charles D. McCrary Eminent Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering and the technical lead for Auburn’s AI@AU Initiative. “That’s why it’s important that we offer an opportunity for faculty, students, and stakeholders to gain a better understanding of how this technology is unfolding, not only from diverse points of view, but from the diverse ways we encounter it – from education, to commerce, to cyber defense and the health sector.

“Auburn University is an educational leader when it comes to teaching – and applying – artificial intelligence. We’re pleased to have a platform such as the AI@AU Initiative where we can showcase our knowledge and the expertise of peer educators.”

All presentations are at 10 a.m. CST on Fridays in Shelby 3129, open to everyone, and livestreamed on Zoom ( and recorded for later watching at

Visiting experts include:

  • Charreau Bell, assistant professor of computer science, Vanderbilt University Data Science Institute, “Artificial Intelligence as a Catalyst for Innovation and Diversity,” Feb. 9.
  • LeNa Powe McDonald, associate commissioner for academic relations for the Southeastern Conference AI Consortium, “AI in the SEC,” Feb. 16.
  • Lynne Parker, associate vice chancellor, director, AI Tennessee Initiative, University of Tennessee, “AI Policies and Initiatives: Progress and Opportunities at the Federal Level and in Tennessee,” March 1.
  • Pan He, assistant professor of computer science and software engineering, Auburn University, “Human-Centered Spatiotemporal Modeling and Simulation in the Era of Infrastructure,” March 15.
  • Alice Smith, Joe W. Forehand, Jr. Distinguished Professor of industrial & systems engineering, “Women Led Research in Computational Intelligence,” Auburn University, March 29.
  • Jiaqi Gong, associate professor and director, Sensor-Accelerated Intelligent Learning Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alabama, “From Alabama to the World: Pioneering AI for Rural Resilience,” April 12.

“Those who attend this series will hear from AI experts about the state-of-the-art in AI, and societal consequences of its widespread application on trust, ethics, literacy, and citizenship,” said Hari Narayanan, chair of the college’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering and administrative lead for AI@AU.

“This series of talks is now in its third semester, drawing speakers from Auburn and other leading universities across the country, revealing the landscape of AI research and education and its impact on society to the Auburn family, and at the same time bringing visibility to Auburn’s strengths and efforts in this area to the outside world. Kudos to Dr. Dozier for making this series such a success!”

The AI@AU initiative was established in 2022 to: 1) Create a university-wide faculty group for coordinating and supporting AI-related educational and research activities; 2) Install AI computational resources to support AI-related education and research; 3) Create a university-wide distinguished lecture series, featuring prominent researchers in AI; 4) Create new educational programs on AI in the disciplines for Auburn students – preparing them for the workplace; 5) Develop a faculty-led AI think tank that eventually becomes a focal point for connecting with external opportunities and generating extramural funding for research and education.

Media Contact: Joe McAdory,, 334.844.3447
Each presentation can be viewed live in Shelby 3129, via Zoom or on-demand.

Each presentation can be viewed live in Shelby 3129, via Zoom or on-demand.

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