Bellevue College offers new associate’s degree

Bellevue College was recently approved to offer an associate’s of applied science transfer degree in robotics and artificial intelligence. The courses in the program would cover additive design, computer vision, data structures, engineering graphics, object oriented programming, programming for machine learning, and introduction to robotics and artificial intelligence. Students now get the opportunity to learn about these cutting-edge technologies in software development at BC.

This new degree is the culmination of years of preparation starting in 2014 when Maureen Majury, the director of the Center of Excellence for Information & Computing Technology, started to look at how a certificate in either robotics or drones could be developed, according to BC TODAY. “When Maureen first approached me with her research in robotics and artificial intelligence, and how closely our current Information Systems degree related, I was intrigued,” said BC professor and Institute for Business and Information Technology Program Chair Sylvia Unwin. “I enjoy reading Sci-Fi and had taken some programming classes in Lisp and Prolog. To actually get a chance to create a credit program where more students can be integrated into this technology – I was in.”

This is also the first such degree offered in robotics and artificial intelligence at the community and technical college level in Washington state. As a transfer degree, students have the chance to move forward to apply BC’s four-year information systems AAS-T degree after finishing this new two-year associate’s degree in robotics and artificial intelligence. Students, after meeting the requirements of other universities, are also able to transfer to other schools where the Bachelor’s degree in robotics and artificial intelligence is provided.

New classes such as ROBAI classes have been provided through winter quarter. “I am teaching one ROBAI class this quarter,” said Sylvia Unwin, “Many students major in computer science, programming, information technology, or some people who are interested in this field have registered some ROBAI classes since they were available for students.”

“And luckily since the associate’s degree in robotics and artificial intelligence has been provided, students can who are passionate about it can start taking suggested courses listed under Program Requirements on Bellevue College IBIT website from fall 2018.”

There are 18 suggested courses according to the quarterly schedule on the IBIT website. These classes focus on programming skills using mainly Python programming language, ROBAI, statistics, machine learning, engineering graphics, general psychology and other general education courses. Students in some of these classes would be able to access campus computers during classes and program their robots or other projects.

These courses of study prepares students for careers such as artificial intelligence software developer, business intelligence specialist, control systems programmer, data visualization specialist, intelligent systems specialist, junior artificial intelligence developer, machine learning developer, robotics technician, robotics developer, and more.

Sylvia Unwin thinks the future of technology would be wonderful, and she looks forward to teaching students robotics and AI classes this fall. Students who are interested in this new cutting-edge technology are able to take the next step, and make an appointment with a program advisor by calling (425) 564-2311 or make an appointment with program faculty, Sylvia Unwin, by emailing