“To harness the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we should not view emerging technologies as mere tools that are completely under our conscious control, nor as external forces that cannot be guided. Instead, we should seek to understand how and where human values are embedded within new technologies, and how these can be shaped to enhance the common good, environmental stewardship and human dignity.” 
Klaus Schwab, Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum.

The mission of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Science (i4) is to build capacity in interdisciplinary sciences, informatics, and emerging technologies as we increase students’ readiness for the 4th Industrial Revolution. The Institute is an educational and professional framework that fosters cross-sector partnerships and interdisciplinary collaborations. To this end, the Institute (i) coordinates on-campus interdisciplinary events that challenge us to explore complicated problems with cross-disciplinary approaches; (ii) organizes cross-sector cooperative agreements with public and private entities around the Austin, TX area and beyond; (iii) exposes STEM majors to the postgraduate landscape by networking them with employers and graduate programs through guaranteed internships; (iv) funds faculty and student professional development by offering awards to faculty and micro-credentialing tuition awards to students; and (v) catalyzes faculty advancement, interdisciplinary collaborations, and innovative research through the presentation of research opportunity awards.

Together, these activities facilitate the preparation of students for the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is a recently embarked era where biological, digital, and physical systems coalesce to connect people, objects, and disciplines. The consensus among world leaders and prominent academics is that interdisciplinary education, industry-academia cross-talks, data science and informatics, and the development of adaptive STEM graduates who can innovate in a climate of change are pivotal for success in the 4th Industrial Revolution. 


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1832282