Robotics and AI as a Motivator for the Attraction and Retention of Computer Science Undergraduates in Canada

John Anderson, Jacky Baltes

Since the burst of the dot-com bubble in 2000, computer science has seen a significant decrease in enrollment in universities across North America. While this has been well-publicized in the media in the United States, Canada's numbers in this regard have been significantly worse. Within Canada, however, the Department of Computer Science at the University of Manitoba has been relatively fortunate: while a noticeable decrease has occurred, it is statistically much less than has occurred across Canada and the U.S. There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is the use of artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics in particular, as a tool for student recruitment and retention. In this paper, we examine enrollment trends of our university compared to the rest of the continent, discuss some of the reasons behind these trends, and describe how we use AI, and robotics in particular, as tools to attract and retain computer science students.

Subjects: 17. Robotics; 1.3 Computer-Aided Education

Submitted: Jan 14, 2008

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