students with pads in hands

Education & Outreach

Athena is committed to educating and developing our workforce, cultivating a diverse next generation of technical leaders who will ensure the ethical and fair use of AI. Together with its industrial and government partners, Athena will spearhead collaboration and knowledge transfer to maximize the translation of AI-empowered edge computing into new business opportunities.


The Athena REU will run during summer 2022 at 3 different sites. Specific dates will be arranged by your host. Currently we are planning for our REU to be in-person for Summer 2022. However, if there are unforeseen circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we may have to shift to a virtual REU including virtual meetings, social activities, and interaction with mentors. We will keep students informed if plans do change.

First Round of Applications Reviewed: February 15, 2022


  • Undergraduate Students majoring in a Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics (STEM) discipline 
  • US citizens or permanent residents
  • Undergraduates in good academic standing


Project Descriptions

Bhuvana Krishnaswamy and Younghyum Kim

University of Wisconsin-Madison

LoRa is a new technology for IoT connectivity that allows low-power communication over long distances. Due to its wide coverage, LoRa networks include 10s to 100s of low-power devices connected to a single gateway/receiver. In this work, we explore machine learning approaches to process data collected from multiple LoRa transmitters simultaneously to increase network data rate as well as battery life. (Juniors/Seniors; Dates: 5/1/2022-8/30/2022; flexible)

Daniel Limbrick

North Carolina A &T

Research in artificial intelligence for self-driving cars has challenges in collecting road data for scenarios with broad coverage and simulating realistic environments with accuracy. In this project, students will create a small-scale testbed of a city environment that allows for a collection of autonomous vehicles (small cars powered by single-board computers, e.g., NVIDIA Jetson Xavier), that can run autonomous driving software with AI. These cars will be equipped with cameras and other sensors to conduct federated learning, mixed-reality, and cybersecurity studies. (Juniors/Seniors; Dates: 6/1/2022 - 7/30/2022)

Hai Li

Duke University

Out-of-distribution (OOD) detection is the problem of identifying novel data samples during inference time that do not belong to one of the Deep Neural Network's known classes. Such detection is crucial for building safe and reliable intelligent systems that operate in the open world. In this project, students will have the opportunity to implement and explore several state-of-the-art OOD detection methodologies, including both post-training scoring mechanisms and sophisticated training algorithms dedicated to improving OOD detection. The student is also encouraged to work with senior graduate students to develop novel, advanced approach for OOD detection under more challenging scenarios. We expect that students have basic knowledge of neural networks and image classification for this project. (Juniors/Seniors; Dates: 5/9/2022-7/18/2022)


Join Athena as a post-doctoral fellow

Post-Doctoral Fellowships in the NSF National AI Institute for Edge Computing Leveraging Next Generation Networks (Athena)

The NSF-funded National AI Institute for Edge Computing Leveraging Next Generation Networks invites applications for Postdoctoral Fellowships from early-career engineers, natural and social scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, and educators. The Athena postdoctoral fellowships are ideally suited to scholars seeking interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary opportunities to develop and apply AI to edge computing devices and systems. Our Institute is organized in four thrust areas: 1) AI-powered networking at the edge, 2) AI-powered computer systems at the edge, 3) Advancing AI for mobile networks, and 4) AI-enabled services and applications for next-generation mobile networks. Preference will be given to candidates who can facilitate cross-thrust collaborations among research groups at Athena-affiliated institutions: Duke, MIT, NC A&T, Princeton, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and/or Yale. Selection will be made based on the candidate’s academic and/or industrial experience, expected impact of the proposed research, and potential to broaden participation in the Institute by women, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities.

To be eligible for an Athena Postdoctoral Fellowship, individuals must: 1) have received a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent), and 2) be able to start the fellowship in residence with an Athena-affiliated research group by April 30, 2022. Initial fellowship awards will be made for one-year and may be extended. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact one or more Athena investigators (listed at to discuss their research interests prior to making an application.

To apply, please provide a current curriculum vitae, research statement to include a proposed research plan (maximum 2 pages), name(s) of potential host Athena investigator(s), and the names and contact information of three references. These materials should be e-mailed to

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis starting October 31, 2021.

Participating Universities

Duke University logo
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NC A&T logo
Princeton University logo
University of Michigan logo
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