AAAI-23 Undergraduate Consortium
The Undergraduate Consortium (AAAI-UC) hosted at the 2023 AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-23) will offer undergraduate students an opportunity to enrich their conference experience by:
- presenting and receiving critical feedback about their work in a professional, academic setting;
- meeting prospective graduate advisors;
- receiving mentoring about the advantages (and overcoming the challenges) of pursuing graduate studies in AI as well as practical early career advice;
- expanding their professional network to include AI experts, current graduate students, and undergraduate peers; and
- providing advice, tools, and resources for successfully applying to and attending graduate school in AI-related research.
The fourth AAAI-UC will be held in conjunction with the AAAI-23 conference. Instructions for applying to the Undergraduate Consortium can be found below.
The 2023 AAAI-UC will prioritize students who are more than one year from graduation (sophomores and juniors in the standard 4-year progression). Applicants will need to prepare and submit a personal statement and research statement (see below); these are analogous to the personal and research statements required by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program and most graduate admissions. S tudents with prior research experience should use that work to inform and support their proposal, but students are expected to propose a new idea they haven’t already completed. We especially encourage applications from students who identify with groups historically marginalized in computing (women; Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Native American/Pacific Islander students; first generation and low income students; and students with disabilities) as well as students who have limited resources related to AI research and graduate school at their home institutions.
Students accepted into the 2023 AAAI-UC program will be expected to attend the UC events and meet with their assigned mentors to discuss their research career path and to receive feedback as they revise and submit a final version of their application materials as well as prepare a virtual presentation of their research proposal. Travel funding will be available, with priority for funding given to students local to the DC area and students w ith multiple marginalized identities. The schedule of events and activities from the 2022 AAAI-UC is available here.
Applicants to the Undergraduate Consortium must submit the following materials in full for full consideration for the program via the submission site linked above. The deadline for the full application package is Sunday, Nov. 13 at 11:59pm HST (UTC -10). When you submit, you will need to provide your name, university affiliation, expected graduation date, demographic and contact information, a personal statement and an AI research statement. Applications should be submitted via EasyChair at this link.
The 2023 AAAI UC personal and research statements are inspired by NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Our hope is that thoughtfully constructed statements with feedback from AI professionals will provide you a useful starting point in your future graduate school and fellowship applications.
1. Personal Statement
Prepare a 2 page personal statement that describes your preparation for and interest in an AI research career.
- What fascinates you about your research area?
- What interests you about pursuing a career in AI research?
- What leadership skills and unique characteristics could you bring to an AI research career?
- What barriers, if any, have you encountered and/or overcome in your pursuit of AI research?
- What do you expect to gain from presenting and participating in the UC?
- What do you think you can contribute to the UC?
Personal statements must be written using the NSF GRFP statement formatting guidelines, which require standard 8.5”x 11” page size, Times New Roman font for all text, no smaller than 11-point, except text that is part of an image, 1” margins on all sides, and no less than single spacing (approximately 6 lines per inch).
2. AI Research Summary
Submit a two-page research statement describing a project that you might want to undertake during your graduate studies (if you were to get a PhD). Support your proposed work with specific evidence that it is feasible (that it is likely to work based on prior work) and valuable (that it would accomplish something new in AI and make a positive contribution to society). Students are encouraged to describe any prior AI experience (undergraduate research, class projects, etc.) as part of the basis for their proposed work.
The scope of the proposed work and style of the statement should be similar to a workshop paper or poster abstract, and include the following sections:
- What are you interested in studying? Why is it important? Why would it be a valuable contribution to the field of AI? What would be the potential impacts on society?
- What other research has been done in this area? How does it relate to your proposed work? How does your proposed work build on the prior work? Be sure to summarize and cite relevant research papers.
- If applicable, the background should contain a subsection titled “Prior Work by the Applicant” that describes any prior work you have completed that supports your approach. This subsection may include research experience, but also class or individual project
- How are you using AI to solve the problem? What specific AI techniques would you expect to use and how would you expect to use them
- How would you evaluate your result? How will you know you succeeded? If you would conduct a study, explain the procedure; if you would run a series of tests, describe them.
- What do you expect to find? What would be the implications for the field if your approach works? What would be the benefit to society if your approach works
- Summarize the problem, approach, and evaluation. Remind the reader of the potential benefits of the project.
Be mindful of the following:
- If you have prior AI experience (including research or class projects), we recommend that you propose work that is related to that work
- but different from it. However, this is not a requirement and you can feel free to describe any project that you are excited about.
- Although you are encouraged to have a mentor review your research proposal, it must be written entirely by you.
- It is okay to use the first person voice in the research proposal. Your research proposal should not contain passages written by others, including research teammates or collaborators.
- Students are free to submit research proposals that build off work reported in a regular paper submitted to the AAAI-23 or another conference. Research proposals will be reviewed by the AAAI-UC program committee and decisions will be made independently of the outcomes of related full-paper submissions. However, if you were not the sole author of the work submitted to another venue, your description of the work must clearly highlight your individual contributions to the project.
- Include a descriptive title for your work (please do not title it “Research Summary”).
- Remember that the audience for your research proposal includes people who are knowledgeable about AI but not necessarily experts in the narrow topic of your proposal. Introduce the content at a high enough level so that the general AAAI audience can understand your work, but also include enough low-level detail so that the experts will appreciate your unique ideas. Low-level detail would include description of how you would conduct the research, the types of experiments you would run, the relevant literature that supports your ideas, the data you would collect and how you would analyze it, and the implications of solving the proposed problems.
- The research summary MUST be 2 pages, with up to one additional page of references.
The research proposals must be written using the NSF GRFP statement formatting guidelines, which require standard 8.5”x 11” page size, Times New Roman font for all text, no smaller than 11-point, except text that is part of an image, 1” margins on all sides, and no less than single spacing (approximately 6 lines per inch).
The Undergrad Consortium organizing committee solicits applications covering any topic area and methodology within Artificial Intelligence. Applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria: clarity and completeness of submission packet; stage of progress through undergraduate degree program (applicants must be actively enrolled in a post-secondary, undergraduate degree program at the time of submission); quality, feasibility, and potential impact of the research proposal; and assessment of contribution to and benefit from participating in the UC.
Support for the 2023 Undergraduate Consortium is graciously provided by AAAI, with additional support generously provided by the Artificial Intelligence Journal and National Science Foundation (DUE 1946637).
AAAI23-UC Committees & Leadership
Undergraduate Consortium Co-Chairs
- Patricia Ordóñez (University of Maryland, Baltimore County USA)
- Elaine Short (Tufts University, USA)
Program Committee Chair
Tezca Fitzgerald (Yale University)
- Outgoing chairs:
- Eric Aaron, Colby College
- Eliana Valenzuela-Andrade, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
- Jim Boerkoel, Harvey Mudd College
- Memo Ergezer, Wentworth Institute of Technology
- Malihe Alikhani, University of Pittsburgh
- Sloan Davis, Google Research
- Nate Derbinsky, Northeastern University
- Richard Freedman, SIFT
- Maria Gini, University of Minnesota
- Michael Guerzhoy, University of Toronto
- Ayanna Howard, The Ohio State University
- Maria Hwang, Fashion Institute of Technology
- Irina Rabkina, Occidental College
- Anna Rafferty, Carleton College
- Anita Raja, Hunter College, City University of New York
- Lisa Torrey, St. Lawrence University
For more information about past AAAI-UC events, please visit: https://aaai-uc.github.io/