Stony Brook University’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences has been awarded two grants totaling $4.5 million from SUNY’s Empire Innovation Program. The funding will be used to recruit and retain world-class faculty and researchers that strengthen Stony Brook’s research productivity in two high economic opportunity areas of state and national significance — artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity. These hires will also accelerate the development of the emergent Institute for AI-Driven Discovery & Innovation. The initiative for the institute involves a collaboration between the CEAS and Stony Brook University School of Medicine, as faculty in these two high-tech areas encompass experts in multiple areas of medicine and engineering.
The awards are designed to strengthen Stony Brook’s prominence by funding senior field-leading hires in AI and cybersecurity. In AI, Stony Brook will focus on applications in medicine, smart environments and infrastructures, as well as core AI and machine-learning technologies. In cybersecurity, the focus will be on hardware security, operating systems security, big data security, and mobile security and on the National Security Institute, the existing cybersecurity cluster in Stony Brook.
“Stony Brook has consistently played a nationally prominent role in AI and cybersecurity research,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., President of Stony Brook University. “We have recently undertaken a bold, strategic initiative in engineering-driven medicine for which AI technology and cybersecurity of medical data are significant drivers. This grant will enable us to recruit leading faculty researchers, and invest added resources with our current researchers as they together pursue excellence in advancing these fields.”
The envisioned Institute will serve as a hub for all AI related research on campus and position Stony Brook as a leader in AI research. In addition to carrying out funded research, the Institute will catalyze new educational programs generating professionals for the AI-driven economy of the future. This will range from core technical programs (e.g., interdisciplinary data science and engineering or machine learning) to science communication, technology policy and entrepreneurship programs. The Institute will also stimulate regional economy by providing local industry and entrepreneurs with new technology training and new graduates to hire.
Space for the new hires will be allocated in the new Computer Science building commissioned in 2015, the upcoming MART (Medicine and Research Translation) building. Contingent upon AI cluster hire needs, additional space will be available in existing centers, including the Center of Excellence in Wireless & Information Technology (CEWIT), the Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS) and I-DIME, the new building focused on discovery and innovation in medicine and engineering to be located in the Stony Brook University Research and Development Park.