London-based artificial intelligence (AI) research and application company DeepMind has awarded eight scholarships for postgraduate studies in the fields of applied mathematics, statistics, electrical and electronic engineering and computer science at Stellenbosch University (SU).
The DeepMind scholarships are part of a wider initiative by the company to broaden participation in science and support the wider research ecosystem, including in Africa.
Five scholarships will go to SU students who wish to pursue a two-year MSc degree in applied mathematics or computer science or an MEng degree in electrical and electronic engineering.
Three further scholarships will go to SU students who have been accepted to study towards a PhD in applied mathematics, computer science, electrical and electronic engineering, mathematical statistics or statistics.
These scholarships will be available to students from all over sub-Saharan Africa who wish to pursue research related to machine learning, with recipients selected by the university to commence their courses in 2021. The DeepMind Scholarship programme gives talented students from groups currently underrepresented in machine learning, including women, the support that they need to study at leading universities.
Fees are paid in full and recipients are provided with guidance and support from DeepMind mentors.
"These scholarships are evidence of DeepMind and the university’s commitment towards growing machine learning and AI expertise in Africa and increasing diversity in these fields. I have seen tremendous talent and passion for machine learning and AI research from students all across our continent and we look forward to welcoming the DeepMind Scholarship recipients to postgraduate studies at SU,” says DeepMind Scholarships coordinator and SU applied mathematics associate professor Willie Brink.
SU is the first African university to be awarded these scholarships by DeepMind. SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers says the DeepMind Scholarship programme is an endorsement of the quality of SU’s offering on machine learning and AI.
"I have no doubt that these scholarships will help us deliver sought-after graduates equipped to help our country, our continent and the rest of the world meet future challenges,” he notes.