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Texas A&M International Receives $800K for AI, STEM Projects

National Science Foundation grants to Texas A&M International University will go toward building AI capacity, experiential learning programs for AI careers, and early STEM education programs.

A small paper graduation cap resting on top of a stack of coins surrounded by more coins.
(TNS) — Three separate awards amounting to $799,853 in federal grant funding for Texas A&M International University were announced by Rep. Henry Cuellar at TAMIU's Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Colonnade on Monday.

The federal grants, awarded by the National Science Foundation, will help to:

  • Expand AI Capacity Building Project: $399,855.

  • Enhance Engineering Statistics Experiential Learning for AI Careers through Visualization and Gamification Approach: $200,000.

  • Building Academic Success Early for STEM: $199,998.

Dr. Pablo Arenaz, President of TAMIU, highlighted the importance of AI in the university curriculum.

"I thank the great partners for us in Washington with Congressman Cuellar and those who helped with the grants applications for us," he said. "Two grants will help add the Artificial Intelligence in our curricula so that our students get the skills and techniques that they need for the future. The grants will also help STEM education, especially for people of color."

Cuellar said that TAMIU is a cutting-edge institution, with new buildings always being constructed and new projects being established.

"I just want to say congratulations to everyone," he said. "I know it takes a lot of work to write federal applications, and I want to say thank you to all of you."

He added that all three of these grants will promote the growth of artificial intelligence and STEM education programs at TAMIU and throughout the state of Texas.

"AI's role in our global economy will continue to grow, and these programs ensure that our students will be prepared to thrive in this new era," he said. "I'm proud to support this great university, and I will continue to secure funding to support the hardworking students, faculty and staff."

Laredo Mayor Dr. Victor Trevino said the future is in artificial intelligence.

"I congratulate this university for these three federal grants that will provide much needed training," he said. "As you know, I'm a big supporter of international trade, and I'm an even bigger supporter of science. I believe that the country and the community with the most scientists tend to do very well, and they will continue to do very well, as has been seen in the past.

"However, funding is needed to attract future engineers and computer architects, especially in the area of artificial intelligence. This is where competition will be in the future: to get the most data in the shortest amount of time."

He said there's no better time than now because Laredo is at the crossroads when it comes to diversifying its workforce.

"I believe that (is important) in order to stay competitive, and as a community that attracts fresh new talent," he said. "We need to expand from our incredible foundation in international trade and continue to invest in science and these training programs. I look forward to seeing these efforts to invest in the great city of Laredo."

Other speakers at the event were Dr. Claudia San Miguel, TAMIU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Deepak Ganta, TAMIU Associate Professor, School of Engineering; Dr. Kenneth Tobin, TAMIU Interim Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Maria de Lourdes Viloria, TAMIU Associate Professor, College of Education.

San Miguel thanked Arenaz for his unwavering support of the university, as well as his focus on research and how he has transformed the university. He also congratulated the promoters and principal investigators for obtaining the grants.

©2024 the Laredo Morning Times (Laredo, Texas). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.