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72-Year-Old Congressman Goes Back to School for Degree in AI

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Rep. Don Beyer in a college lecture hall

Don Beyer hasn't ruled out pursuing a doctorate in machine learning.

Credit: Craig Hudson / The Washington Post

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) has been moonlighting as a student at George Mason University in pursuit of a master's degree in machine learning while balancing his duties as a congressman. Beyer has been taking one class per semester in a slow but steady march toward the degree.

He does his homework usually sometime between 9 and 11 at night, after he gets home from Capital Hill. He attended a Zoom class each Thursday night with many 18-year-olds who kept their cameras off and who in breakout small-group work sessions did not seem to know (or care?) that their classmate is a U.S. congressman.

To qualify to enter the master's program, Beyer needs to complete seven undergraduate math and computer science courses; with three courses down this year and four to go, he expects to begin the actual graduate work by 2024.

From The Washington Post
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