Center Activities

CAIT's activities assemble a community of scholars and practitioners at the leading edge of AI and AI technology development, translating the latest advances in artificial intelligence into tools, technologies, and services that will transform society and lead to a more secure, connected, creative, sustainable, and healthy humanity.

Amazon PhD Fellowship Program

On an annual basis, CAIT issues a call for nominations for the Center’s Amazon Fellows Program.

Nominations for fellowships should be made by Columbia faculty. Students must be enrolled at the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, in good standing, and have exhibited outstanding academic performance to be eligible for the Amazon Fellows Program. The Center’s Advisory Group reviews nominations and makes recommendations to the Center Director. The Dean of Engineering makes final decisions.

Two fellowships are awarded each year. The fellowships provide each doctoral graduate student with up to 2 years of tuition support during academic semesters, and a stipend to initiate independent research projects. In addition, Fellows have an opportunity to interview for a summer internship at Amazon, gaining valuable industry insights and experience through direct engagement with Amazon researchers. As a condition of funding, the Amazon Fellows are required to submit a 6-month and a 12-month progress report. Eligibility for continued funding for a second year is based on progress and the justification of needs for ongoing fellowship support.

Faculty Research Awards

CAIT issues an annual Call For Proposals (CFP) to support faculty-led projects in fundamental and applied AI research.

Funding is provided by one of two mechanisms. Sponsored Research Projects (SRPs) may involve direct collaboration with Amazon researchers. Gift-Funded Research Projects (GFRPs) support exploratory research.

The Center supports up to 3 SRPs and 1-3 GFRPs annually. Columbia faculty members, from all departments in SEAS and other Columbia schools, are eligible to submit proposals. Collaborations led by Columbia faculty that involve faculty from other universities and institutions in the greater New York City metropolitan area are welcome.

The Center’s Advisory Group reviews the proposals and makes recommendations to the Center Director. The Dean of Engineering and Amazon’s Center Liaison work collaboratively to make final funding decisions.

Community Outreach

CAIT hosts regular events and outreach activities that bring the AI research community together. Past and future events can be found on our Events page. Events and community activities include:

  • an annual Research Symposium, which is open to the public for greater knowledge dissemination, discussion, and community input
  • Workshops for facilitating new networking and collaboration between Columbia and Amazon researchers
  • Workshops for sharing research results of funded projects and student fellowships, highlighting progress and new challenges
  • Seminars led by AI researchers from both academia and industry
  • Training and recruiting events to prepare students for careers and advanced degrees in AI