Purdue establishes the nation’s first Institute of Physical AI (IPAI) and recruits 50 new faculty

Research centers, open datasets and industry collaborations, where atoms and bytes meet

WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana – As student interest in computing majors and the societal impact of artificial intelligence and chips continue to grow rapidly, the Purdue University Board of Trustees announced Friday (April 14) a major initiative, Purdue Computes.

Purdue Computes consists of three pillars: academic resources from the computer science departments, strategic AI research, and semiconductor education and innovation. This story highlights Pillar 2: strategic research in AI.

At the intersection of the virtual and the physical, Purdue will emerge between the bytes of AI and the atoms of growing, making and moving things: the university and state’s longstanding strength.

The Purdue Institute for Physical AI (IPAI) will be the cornerstone of the university’s unprecedented push into bytes-meet-atoms research. By developing both fundamental AI and its applications according to “We Grow, We Make, We Move”, the faculty will transform AI development through physical applications and vice versa.

The establishment of the IPAI is based on extensive faculty input and the unique strength of research excellence at Purdue. Open agricultural data, neuromorphic computing, deep fake detection, edge AI systems, intelligent transportation data and AI-based manufacturing are among the many cutting-edge topics being explored by IPAI across multiple current and emerging university research centers. The centers form the backbone of the IPAI and build on Purdue’s existing and developing strengths in the areas of AI and cybersecurity and people development. For students interested in physical AI, new degrees and certificates are being developed for both home and online students.

“Through this strategic research leadership, Purdue is focusing current and future assets on areas that will drive research into next-generation technology,” said Karen Plaut, executive vice president of research. “Achievements in the lab and in the classroom on these topics will help tomorrow’s leaders address the changing challenges of the world.”

A steering committee of 17 faculty members is a multidisciplinary group of individuals from many of Purdue’s colleges and departments across campus. IPAI will include an Advisory Board composed of alumni in leadership positions across the AI ​​industry. These include Tesla, Intel, Apple and Ring. Purdue’s leadership in defining physical AI will also be supported by the addition of 50 new faculty over the next five years, affiliated with faculties in colleges across campus while maintaining an affiliation with the IPAI. This addition is supported by 250 Presidential Doctoral Excellence Awards, which are used to recruit the best doctoral students in the field over the same period. Industry collaboration is a planned hallmark of Purdue’s AI ambitions. Eli Lilly and Company, on AI in drug discovery and pharmaceutical manufacturing, and High Alpha, on AI-based startup creation, are among the Indiana industries that will work with the university, particularly on joint research talent recruitment and staff development .

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research organization developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. For each of the last five years, Purdue has been ranked by US News & World Report as one of the 10 Most Innovative Universities in the United States, delivering world-changing research and extraordinary discoveries. Purdue is committed to real-world, hands-on and online learning, providing transformative education for all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, allowing more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops making the next big leap at https://stories.purdue.edu.

Author/Media Contact: Brian Huchel, [email protected]

Source: Karen Plaut